Philadelphia 76ers: Matisse Thybulle is the latest victim of the rookie curse

With the start of the 2019 NBA season less than a month away, Matisse Thybulle has already fallen victim to the Philadelphia 76ers’ dreaded rookie curse.

It happened again; it really happened again.

After a quiet, too quiet summer where seemingly nothing went wrong, the Philadelphia 76ers‘ dreaded rookie curse has struck down promising two-way Washington wing Matisse Thybulle a mere month before the start of the regular season.

God, no, please no. Noooooooo!

As initially reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey, Thybulle rolled his ankle in preparation for a team event the same night and would be evaluated further to set a specific timeline for his recovery.

Granted, this isn’t the typical no-timeline-given summertime injury that has so often drailed the rookie campaigns of Sixers first-round picks like Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Zhaire Smith, etc, but still, the news of a rolled ankle is far from encouraging for a potentially vital cog in Brett Brown‘s fairly recomposed bench.

Especially for a player tasked with learning a completely new defensive system.

One of the most prolific ball hawks in college basketball history – averaging an insane 3.5 steals a game over 36 games – Thybulle may be best pure defensive wing the Sixers have had since Robert Covington wore the number 33 back in October, with legitimate 1-3 defensive versatility.

Though his exact role is yet to be determined, as the Sixers’ bench is pretty packed with 3-and-D wingers like Zhaire Smith, James Ennis, Shake Milton, and Marial Shayok on a two-way deal – not to mention starter Josh Richardson  – missing any time during training camp could set Thybulle back as he transitions from a 2-3 zone at Washington to Brown’s switch-heavy system – specially for a top of the key defensive forward.

If Thybulle is able to come out the gate and contribute as a rookie who knows, maybe the 76ers won’t have to worry about opposing guards unleashing 40-plus points on the regular, but at this point, that’s a big if.

Who knows, maybe all of this fear could be for not and the basketball gods could finally shine down on the Sixers with mercy – I mean they ow us one after Kawhi Leonard‘s quadruple bounce in the playoffs – but anytime any player suffers an injury it has to be taken seriously, even if it’s ultimately nothing.

And hey, at least the regular season doesn’t start until mid-October, this could all be moot by that point.

Ultimately, lets hope this counts at Matisse Thybulle’s ‘big injury’, and the Philadelphia 76ers make it through the 2019-20 season unscathed, but as we’ve seen over the last half-decade in South Philly, when it rains, it very often pours – I mean, who could have predicted Zhaire Smith’s bizarre food allergy saga?