CHICAGO — Matisse Thybulle is an NBA all-defensive second-team selection for the second consecutive season.
The Sixers reserve guard was fourth in the league in steals with 1.7 per game. He also averaged 1.1 blocks. He becomes the first bench player to make an all-defensive team in consecutive seasons since Nate McMillan in 1994 and 1995.
One of Thybulle’s most memorable performances came during a 102-93 victory over the Golden State Warriors at the Wells Fargo Center in December.
That’s when Thybulle did the unthinkable: He shut down Steph Curry.
Curry, the two-time MVP, went into the contest averaging 27.5 points a game. He finished with a misleading 18 points on 6-for-20 shooting, including missing 11 of 14 three-pointers.
With Thybulle as the primary defender, Curry shot 2-for-13, including 1-of-9 on three-pointers. The Sixers’ defensive whiz also became the first player to block Curry’s three-point shot multiple times in a game, doing it twice.
Thybulle received eight first-team votes and 71 second-team votes to finish with 87 points.
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, the defensive player of the year, received 99 first-place votes and 198 points. Smart was joined on the first team by Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Mikal Bridges (Phoenix Suns), Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz), and Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis Grizzlies).
Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat), Jrue Holiday (Bucks), Robert Williams III (Celtics), and Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors) join Thybulle on the second team.