Atlantic Notes: Thybulle, Kyrie, Reddish, Mazzulla

Given his offensive shortcomings, it was understandable that Matisse Thybulle wasn’t part of the Sixers‘ regular rotation early in the season, but the team’s defensive woes made it clear he needed to get a shot, Rich Hofmann of The Athletic wrote ahead of Friday’s game in Toronto.

Thybulle got that shot on Friday. After playing just six scoreless minutes in the team’s first five games, the fourth-year wing logged 22 minutes in Philadelphia’s win over the Raptors and held his own on both ends of the court. Thybulle initially passed up on one open three-point opportunity, then had another blocked, but he responded by continuing to shoot and made a pair of attempts from beyond the arc.

“The old me would have folded in that moment,” Thybulle said, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Like you pass up, you get a little shook on your first attempt. On your second attempt, you get blocked. I think the old me folds and isn’t able to show up for those next two shots and make them. So I mean, honestly, to be able to sit here and be proud of myself feels really good. And to sit in the locker room and give myself my flowers and say, ‘Yeah, you did the work and you trusted it and were able to let it come through during the game.'”

It’s a big year for Thybulle, who will be eligible for restricted free agency during the 2023 offseason after not signing a rookie scale extension with the Sixers before the season began.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • According to Alex Schiffer of The Athletic, Nets owner Joe Tsai and the team have condemned Kyrie Irving‘s social media posts promoting the 2018 film ‘Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,’ which is widely considered to be antisemitic, as Jon Blistein of Rolling Stone details. “I’m disappointed that Kyrie appears to support a film based on a book full of antisemitic disinformation,” Tsai tweeted. “I want to sit down and make sure he understands this is hurtful to all of us, and as a man of faith, it is wrong to promote hate based on race, ethnicity or religion.”
  • Cam Reddish hasn’t just been earning regular rotation minutes for the Knicks so far — he has also been part of some of the team’s crunch-time lineups, writes Peter Botte of The New York Post. After playing nearly the full overtime period in Wednesday’s win over Charlotte, Reddish said that his confidence is “sky high,” adding that he thinks he’s “doing a pretty good job trying to find my niche.” The fourth-year forward will be eligible for restricted free agency in 2023.
  • Steve Bulpett of solicited some early opinions on Celtics interim head coach Joe Mazzulla, and the reviews were generally positive. “Joe’s like Ime (Udoka) in the way that he’s not afraid to be straight with guys and go at them when he has to,” a source close to the situation told Bulpett. “But he also knows what went wrong last year and that there’s some basic stuff that needs fixing.” One opposing personnel source did question Mazzulla’s rotation decisions, opining that it’s too early in the season to be leaning so heavily on the team’s top seven or eight players.
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