Doc Rivers praises Thybulle’s defense in team’s win over Hawks

The Philadelphia 76ers improved to 4-2 on the season after defeating the Atlanta Hawks(3-3) on Saturday night, 122-94, at The Wells Fargo Center, in their first meeting since last season’s Eastern Conference semifinals showdown.

Here’s the Great, Not the Great, and the Bottom Line of Philly’s win over Atlanta.

The Great for the 76ers:

-Philadelphia had six players in double-figures led by Tobias Harris, who had 23 points and 11 rebounds, both team highs. In the process, Harris became the 15th player this season to have multiple 20-10 games (Stathead).

-Joel Embiid had 19 points, five rebounds, two assists, and a block. Embiid and Harris accounted for 29 of Philly’s first 60 points.

-Sixers’ backcourt played well on Saturday night. Tyrese Maxey had 16 points and three assists; Seth Curry added 15 points.

Maxey also did a great job on Trae Young, who had 13 points and 10 assists on 5/16 shooting.

“He did a good job,” Curry said about Maxey. “He stuck to the game plan. Continued to chase him(Young) everywhere all over the floor, fight off the screens. So, that’s all you can really do. Continue to pursue, work hard. And just trust your teammates as much as possible.”

Defense: Philadelphia’s defense held Atlanta to just .379 shooting from the field. This began in the first quarter as Philadelphia held Atlanta to 15 points on 6-22 shooting from the floor, marking the fewest points allowed in a quarter by Philadelphia since they limited the Golden State Warriors to just 23 in the fourth quarter of their matchup last March. (Stathead).

-Speaking of defense, Matisse Thybulle added 11 points, but he brought it on defense as he had four steals and three block shots. This season, he is the fifth player in the NBA to post at least 10 points, three steals, and three blocks in a game.

“He (Matisse) was great,” 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said. “The whole bench really… but Matisse just defensively all over the floor, steals, blocks shots, energy, drives offensively, which we work with him every day on, so he’s in a great place.”

Points in the paint: Philadelphia lived in the paint, and they had 60 points in the painted area. Philadelphia shot 53% from the floor.

Not so Great for the 76ers:

-Game 7 in the Eastern Conference semifinals. That game and that series were so winnable for the 76ers. They blew big leads; Ben Simmons was a nonfactor and asked for a trade. Losing that series was unacceptable, but maybe it fuels the 76ers this season.

Bottom Line:

Philadelphia gets their revenge, and they pretty much led from start to finish against Atlanta. The Hawks will be a good team, and this was a quality win for the 76ers.

What’s Next:

The 76ers continue their four-game homestand on Monday night against the Blazers. 

Best of the Rest:

Cam Reddish returned home and led the Hawks with 16 points off the bench. Clint Capela added 11 points and 12 rebounds.

76ers exercise options on Maxey, Thybulle

The Philadelphia 76ers have exercised the fourth-year contract option for Matisse Thybulle and the third-year contract option for Tyrese Maxey; both are set to take effect for the 2022-23 season, the team announced on Friday.

Thybulle, who is in his third NBA season, was selected by Boston with the No. 20 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft before Philadelphia acquired his rights in a trade. The 24-year-old Thybulle has appeared in 135 games (22 starts) for his career, tallying 4.3 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.5 steals in 19.9 minutes per game. Thybulle’s 209 career steals rank sixth in the NBA since his rookie season.

Last season, he was the only player in the NBA to have at least 100 steals and 70 blocks in less than 1,300 minutes played.  

Maxey, now in his second season and the team’s starting point guard, holds career averages of 8.5 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 16.7 minutes per contest in 63 games (13 starts). Maxey posted a career-high 39 points, along with seven rebounds and eight assists against Denver last season. At the time, the 20-year-old Maxey was the first rookie since 2019 to post a 35-5-5 performance in a single game and became just the second 76er rookie to post such numbers in a game.

The 76ers selected Maxey with the No. 21 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft from the University of Kentucky.