In a dominant win over the Dallas Mavericks monday night, the Philadelphia 76ers now sit one game ahead of the Brooklyn Nets for the top spot in the eastern conference and the 3rd best record in the NBA.
Ben Simmons was asked about their biggest percieved threat, the Brooklyn Nets, how they match up against them and what are they doing in preparation for a potential post-season meeting.
Simmons was pretty confident that the Sixers will have the upper-hand on the newly assembled Nets and is focusing on the bigger picture: Getting to the NBA finals.
“We’re going for the past champs (Lakers), They were the ones who won a championship so you gotta give respect to them. Obviously Brooklyn has a lot of talent, but at the end of the day, there’s only one ball and you gotta play defense too.”
Obviously Simmons knows a little something about Defense, finishing in the Top 5 for the Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) award last year, and being named 2018 NBA Rookie of the Year for his playmaking ability and defensive prowess.
Simmons is making an outstanding case for himself as he looks to lock up the DPOY award this year.
Holding his guarded opponents to 42% shooting from the field, 5th best in the league for those attempting 10 shots or more; he also ranks 7th in defensive rating and 3rd in Defensive win shares, a per 100 possessions stat that measures players ability to stop opponents from scoring.
Having a subpar 8 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists, Simmons explained “Sometimes I get a little hesistant”.
But his teammate Tyrese Maxey interrupted his interview to let the media know he was DPOY. “He ain’t lying” Simmons said.