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

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

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!

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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.

dark. Next. Can Jahlil Okafor stick around in New Orleans?

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?