When the Philadelphia 76ers and the Phoenix Suns met earlier this season, Devin Booker was the story of the game. He would erupt for a game-high 36 points, hitting shots from everywhere on the floor.
The Sixers would have the task of attempting to contain him again on Wednesday night, this time without arguably their best defender. With Ben Simmons missing his second straight game due to illness, someone else would have to step up and defend the All-Star guard.
Luckily for the Sixers, they have a backup plan for situations like this. Matisse Thybulle would get the start against Phoenix and take on being the primary defender on Booker.
Thybulle would do an excellent job frustrating Booker all night. He would go on to end the game with just 19 points on 6-14 shooting from the floor.
When guarded by Thybulle, Booker shot 2-9 from the floor, only scoring eight points. Booker would also turn the ball over once and be blocked twice by the second-year defensive specialist.
After the game, Doc Rivers would give his thought's on Thybulle's work defensively. He would be more than pleased with what Thybulle did picking up the top defensive assignment in the matchup.
"I thought he was unbelievable overall," Rivers said. "I thought he chased him to exhaustion. It's a hard job, and I don't know if anyone has done a better job on Devin. Devin is tough. Overall I thought he was absolutely phenomenal tonight."
Having a player like Thybulle in their back pocket is what makes the Sixers such a strong team defensively. Not many players have a guy who can step up and defend All-Stars when needed, let alone one off the bench.
In his short time in the NBA, Thybulle has shown multiple times how big of an X-factor he can be defensively. With the list of All-Stars the Sixers might need to go through in the playoffs, they are going to need more performances like this from him.
Kevin McCormick covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCNBA.