Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons weighs in on the debate for DPOY, provides some serious criticism on Rudy Gobert’s defense.
The Philadelphia 76ers have been terrific so far this season, and a massive reason for that is Ben Simmons. The 24-year-old has continued to be an elite defender for the franchise during this season, even being in the conversation for Defensive Player of the Year.
His only real competition for the award this season is Jazz star Rudy Gobert. The big man has improved his rim protection and gotten better as an outside defender as well.
There has been a lot of talk about which of these two players will take home the trophy at the end of the regular season. And after hearing all the arguments, Ben Simmons has finally chosen to weigh in on the matter.
Ben Simmons weighs in on the weaknesses of Rudy Gobert
Many believe Ben Simmons should be the clear frontrunner in the race for Defensive player of the year. And it seems the player himself just gave us the biggest reason for why that is. Speaking on Rudy Gobert’s defense, this is what he had to say.
“He’s a great defender. But I don’t think he’s guarding one through fives. You can’t tell him to go guard Kawhi (Leonard) or Paul (George) or guard a point guard. He’s not doing that on a daily basis.”
This criticism may seem harsh at first. But, when we look into it just that little bit more, these words make total sense. What Utah usually does on defense is to funnel the ballhandler into Gobert’s path. But this is a brand of defense that can be beaten without being a world-class offense.
This didn’t count but OMG, Ben Simmons 😱😳 pic.twitter.com/jDi83yMbcK
— ESPN (@espn) March 18, 2021
Rudy Gobert is undoubtedly a great defender and an incredible rim protector. However, he is seldom guarding the other team’s best player. On the other hand, Ben Simmons has made a name for himself by shutting down some of the best in the league.
It is a close race right now for sure. But this fact will definitely be a massive boost to Simmons’s chances to win it.