Since acquiring George Hill, the Sixers have had some flexibility with their second unit. With another ballhandler coming off the bench, it has allowed Doc Rivers to experiment with his rotations.
Once the team managed to get fully healthy, Rivers rolled out his new look for the second unit. He opted for a small-ball lineup, essentially playing Matisse Thybulle at the power forward position.
This new makeup of the lineup has seen success. Adding George Hill to the mix has added more ballhandling and creation, along with opening up the floor.
Thybulle has been the key to this lineup surviving on both ends. After Monday's win over the Bulls, Rivers touched on how Thybulle's play has allowed this new dimension for the bench unit.
"He's showing us now something that he hadn't done in the past or even this year, that he can guard bigger guys. That's really important for us, especially if we want to play with a small lineup with that second unit. It gives us a different dimension," said Rivers.
While Thybulle is the one who allows the second unit to go small, he is arguably the one that thrives the most from it. Spacing issues were a problem before this new-look lineup. Now with a more open floor, he can utilize another part of his game.
Improving his three-point shot has been the emphasis of Thybulle's offensive game, but he has also found other ways to be effective on the offensive end. Becoming more of a threat cutting to the basket is something Rivers has worked on with him all season.
Now with more room to operate, Thybulle can be a threat away from the play. This improved off-ball movement has resulted in multiple easy layups and dunks for the second-year player.
Finding out ways to turn Thybulle into a threat on offense is crucial as the postseason looms. The Sixers will need him on the floor and most matchups, which means he has to figure out ways to improve his two-way play.
Kevin McCormick covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCNBA.