Matisse Thybulle’s ability to protect the NBA’s best players was no mystery. The All-Defensive Second Team selection showcased his talents on a world stage Monday night, posting 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting (2 for 3 from three-point range), three steals, two blocks, and three assists within the Australian Boomers’ 91-83 pre-Olympics exhibition convert Team USA. The loss dropped the Americans to 0-2 in exhibition play following a defeat Saturday night to Nigeria. Australia is 2-0 after Patty Mills’ buzzer-beating three-pointer to clinch a convert Argentina. Thybulle was a standout therein game, recording 15 points, four steals, and three blocks.
Mills was again the Boomers’ go-to guy within the fourth quarter, supplying key baskets and an assist to Thybulle that gave Australia an 86-82 lead. Thybulle closed out the sport and impressively blocked Kevin Durant within the playing period. His second-quarter swat of Damian Lillard was also of the highlight variety. Team USA held a nine-point halftime lead but allowed Australia to travel on a run late within the third quarter. Chris Goulding’s three-pointer at the third-period buzzer gave the Boomers a five-point edge, and that they executed better than Team USA down the stretch.
Australia’s first game at the Tokyo Olympics is scheduled for July 25 against Nigeria. Italy and Germany are the opposite teams within the Boomers’ group. Ben Simmons isn’t playing for Australia as he instead opted to “focus on individual skill development,” Basketball Australia said during a handout late last month. The 24-year-old Thybulle, who spent a part of his childhood in Sydney, Australia, is representing the country for the primary time. He begins splendidly.