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Rookies Matisse Thybulle, Jordan Caroline adjusting to pro game

Updated July 12, 2019 - 6:30 pm

Former Washington standout and Philadelphia 76ers rookie Matisse Thybulle described his new team’s culture Friday afternoon after its Vegas Summer League finale at Cox Pavilion.

“It’s just Philly culture, really,” he said. “Being tough, working hard and hustling.”

The former Naismith Defensive Player of the Year fits right in.

Thybulle, drafted No. 20 overall last month, concluded his first Summer League with 10 points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block in a 108-102 victory over the Toronto Raptors. The 6-foot-5-inch wing was twice selected to the All-Pac 12 defensive team and set the conference’s record for career steals.

He spent the week showcasing his tenacity and versatility on that end of the floor — just like the team hoped he would.

“That was a huge thing that we focused on, defensively just pressuring teams…outworking teams,” Thybulle said. “For myself, my takeaway is just being able to carry that over.”

Thybulle in five games averaged 11.6 points 3.8 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.2 blocks. He also converted 39.2 percent of his 3-point attempts, and worked off staggered screens and ball screens in an effort expand his offensive capabilities.

“We want (our players) to get really good at their role, and then we kind of want to stretch things so they can learn and develop,” 76ers coach. “Put them in a lot of different environments, but also make sure they’re great as these catch and shoot 3-and-D guys.”

No stranger to comebacks

With the Lakers down 25 points in the third quarter to the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles rookie Jordan Caroline thought back to his days at UNR.

He had been on the court when the Wolf Pack rallied from 25 down to beat New Mexico two years ago, scoring 45 points, including the winning 3-pointer in overtime. Caroline also was part of the 22-point rally in the NCAA Tournament in 2018 against Cincinnati.

Then there was the Summer League game against the Warriors on Friday in which Caroline scored 20 points to help the Lakers rally for an 88-87 victory at the Thomas & Mack. He said he thought, “As long as we can get a spark with some stops, we can win this game.”

Caroline, a 6-foot-7-inch forward, went undrafted after a stellar career with the Wolf Pack. He signed a free agent deal with the Lakers, and gave them something to think about after this performance.

“I feel great,” Caroline said. “It’s nice to be able to play in an NBA jersey in a great arena in a great atmosphere like this. I try to take advantage of every opportunity I have.”

Lakers Summer League coach Miles Simon said Caroline’s energy is so evident.

“Every time he makes a shot, he’s flexing, but the team loves it and feeds off of that,” Simon said. “He’s unorthodox in some of the things he does. Sometimes he’s a bull in a China shop, which you love and you hate at the same time.

”He kind of wills in ball in sometimes from the 3, but he’s definitely not afraid of the moment. He’s so physically strong, and he’s not going to back down from anybody. He’s a pure joy to be around.”

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter. Contact reporter Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviewjouranl.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

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