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The race for the the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award is really heating up and Ben Simmons has laid claim to being the best in the business.
The Aussie star truly believes he deserves to win the prestigious accolade, but he'll have to see off fellow contender Rudy Gobert if he hopes to clinch it.
Utah Jazz centre Gobert has been almost unstoppable this season, but Simmons has arguably taken his game to new heights in recent months and has been instrumental in guiding his Philadelphia 76ers side to the summit of the Eastern Conference.
And one man who has been full of compliments for Simmons is Sixers head coach Doc Rivers.
"Ben does a lot, he guards every position," Rivers recently told The Jump.
Ben Simmons makes his case for DPOY.
- Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) April 13, 2021
"He literally, at times, swallows players and I've not seen that."
And he's not wrong, Simmons has been truly dominant on the defensive side of the court this season.
But in Simmons' his own eyes, that's just one of the reasons why he believes he should take home the coveted Defensive Player of the Year award.
And when asked if he agreed with Rivers' glowing praise, the Aussie fan favourite agreed before taking a little cheeky dig at his defensive rival Gobert.
"Definitely. 100 per cent. I'm one of those guys who can guard one to five," he said.
"Obviously, there's a lot of respect for Rudy. I know what he's capable of. I know he's great down there in the paint, but he's not guarding everybody and that's just what it is. He guarded me in Utah... I had 42 and apparently I'm not a scorer. It is what it is, but I have a lot of respect for him. At the same time, I think it's mine this year."
As savage as that is, a mutual respect undoubtedly exists between the two DPOY frontrunners, but Simmons clearly thinks he's the favourite to walk away from the 2021 NBA Awards with a trophy in his hand.
Ben Simmons had to pull up the receipts on Gobert :sweat_smile:
(via @Rachel__Nichols) pic.twitter.com/TXHubE2IdL
- Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 13, 2021
As for the 76ers as a team, they're certainly in a good position to challenge the likes of the Brooklyn Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks for an Eastern Conference title.
And who knows, they might even go all the way?
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