Fri. Dec 6th, 2019

Philly’s Top Five

What Makes Philly, "Philly"

Sixers’ Ben Simmons, Matisse Thybulle love defending opposition’s star

2 min read

The Philadelphia 76ers are building their title-contending team on the strength of their defense. Due to this fact, it’s a good thing that they have two perimeter defenders who can get after it on that end of the floor.

Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle are considered two of the better defenders in the NBA with Simmons landing in the top 5 in steals per game and Thybulle leads all rookies in steals.

In Monday’s 103-94 win over the Utah Jazz, the two players had to take on the challenge of defending Jazz star Donovan Mitchell and they were up to the task. Mitchell scored 18 points, but he shot 6-for-19 including 1-for-6 from deep.

“I just love guarding great players. It’s one of those things where I take that challenge upon myself. I really don’t mind who I’m put on, it’s always going to be a challenge. So I enjoy it.”

Point guard Mike Conley shot 3-for-9 for seven points before leaving with hamstring tightness so it wasn’t just Mitchell. The Jazz as a team shot 46.9% from the floor and they were 5-for-22 from deep so the Sixers as a team played top-notch defense and it was spearheaded by Simmons and Thybulle.

“Yeah, that’s why we love basketball, just the competitive nature of it,” Thybulle added. “To be given the challenge of guarding the other team’s best player is an honor in and of itself, but then also the challenge of it is exciting for me, just as a competitor.”

The Sixers will have another big challenge on Thursday when they face Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards on the road.

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