Sixers guard Matisse Thybulle discusses guarding 4s and 5s in new lineup

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The Philadelphia 76ers have a new lineup in mind when it comes to their bench unit. With the addition of George Hill, coach Doc Rivers has been working with a lot of lineups with four guards surrounding Dwight Howard.

That means that one of those guards has to defend power forwards and, at times, centers. That challenge has fallen to Matisse Thybulle, the team’s do-it-all Swiss Army knife of a defender.

Thybulle has taken on challenges like Danilo Gallinari and Lauri Markkanen recently and he has done a terrific job of locking them up and making a huge difference. That has allowed the Sixers to be able to flourish on the defensive end with those smaller lineups.

“It’s all an adjustment,” said Thybulle. “I’ve guarded small guys for one year, and now it’s like I’m getting some 4s, and even sometimes 5s. It’s always an adjustment and I think for me, it’s just seeing that the coaches believe in my abilities and then just taking that and making some confidence and knowing that they’re putting me in positions to be successful so just allowing myself to have it.”

While these power forwards and centers are obviously much bigger than Thybulle, he has been able to make a big difference with his quickness and his defensive IQ. There have been a few plays where he has been able to get them with his signature block from behind play that has become synonymous with his play.

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“I think where these bigger guys have advantages in size, I have advantages in my quickness and speed so it’s been interesting to see how it plays out at this level,” he added. “I think I’ve been doing a pretty decent job.”

The continued improvement by Thybulle on the defensive end of the floor is going to be a big help come playoff time. When the Sixers eventually do match up with a team like the Brooklyn Nets or the Milwaukee Bucks, he will have to take on bigger opponents and made a difference on that end.

“When we have shooting and speed and are able to defend the way they are doing it right now, George is a hell of a defender, Matisse is a hell of a defender, Dwight’s a real rim protector so you have three solid defenders out on the floor,” said Rivers on April 30. “It allows all the other guys to play.”

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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