Matisse Thybulle returns to Philadelphia with the Blazers for a Friday night game.
This quote is making the rounds, from a Keith Pompey story at the Inquirer:
As a Sixer, Thybulle played with fear, knowing missteps would cost him playing time. The fourth-year veteran doesn’t feel as much pressure. He feels free to be himself.
“Any player that’s playing out of a place of fear is going to struggle,” he said. “Like there’s going to just be friction in everything you try to do. But when you play for a place of just discipline and receptiveness to what the game’s giving and what you are reading from it. I think there’s a lot more opportunity.
“And for me, specifically, I feel like there was a lot more fear-based play in Philadelphia as opposed to what I’m doing here in Portland.”
Well no shit. The Sixers are a contender and the Blazers stink. There’s no pressure to play in Portland because you’re 13th in the Western Conference with a 31-35 record and aren’t battling veteran stars for minutes. There are no expectations.
But yes, you would have liked to see someone like Matisse or Isaiah Joe really turn the corner here in Philadelphia. There’s definitely something to be said about talented guys on the fringe not being able to take the next step here, be it a lack of opportunity or developmental hurdles along the way. This isn’t the best situation for a young prospect to thrive, since the Sixers are pursuing a title, but Doc Rivers has that reputation of favoring veterans and that’s bothersome to fans who think he (and the front office) isn’t doing enough to extract full value out of the margins.
This is not, however, some Bob Huggins situation. Doc wasn’t pulling guys after one mistake and making them run on the treadmill. At least not that we’re aware of.