Matisse Thybulle is getting his rhythm back.
The 76ers reserve swingman looked more fluid on the defensive end in Wednesday’s Game 2 loss to the Miami Heat. That came after he played solidly in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Prior to that, Thybulle struggled in Game 5 of the opening round series against the Toronto Raptors.
Of course, Thybulle needs to regain his rhythm because he is unvaccinated and was ineligible to play in the road games against the Raptors.
As an unvaccinated player, Thybulle was not allowed to travel to Canada with the team for Games 3, 4, and 6. That forced him to spend five days away from the team during its extended stay in Toronto for Games 3 and 4. Thybulle was away from the team for an additional two days for Game 6.
“I’m getting more and more back into the flow of things,” he said following Friday. “Missing games, I had no idea what missing games were like in the playoffs. It’s like tenfold of missing a regular-season game.
“So yeah, it’s been a learning curve. But each time I get out there, getting minutes, I have been growing, getting more rhythm.”
Thybulle didn’t attempt a shot or score a point while playing 20 minutes, 34 seconds in Game 2. However, he finished with one block and a steal. He also had a block, a steal, and scored two points on 1-for-3 shooting in Game 1. Thybulle had a steal, but he looked out of sync in 14 minutes in Game 5 of the opening-round series against the Raptors on April 25.
Thybulle explained why it’s hard to remain in rhythm while away from the team.
“Coaches have always said the difference between winning and losing a playoff game can come down to one possession,” he said. “So when it comes down to one adjustment or one read or getting a feel for a player’s tendency, missing that live in really difficult. And it’s one thing to miss it and see it. It’s another thing to try to keep up with all this stuff on TV.”