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Ben Simmons on Rudy Gobert’s DPOY award case: “He’s not guarding one through five”

Ben Simmons-Rudy Gobert-Utah Jazz-Sixers
Photo: Chris Nicoll/Associated Press

Ben Simmons has been excellent so far being in the race for the Defensive Player of the Year award this season. The Sixers’ star talked on fellow candidate Rudy Gobert, who is also having a stellar season with the Jazz.

(Via Marc Narducci of The Philadelphia Inquirer):

“No disrespect to Rudy at all, he is a great shot blocker, defender, but he’s not guarding one through five [point guards to centers], he is guarding fives and probably big fours [power forwards],” Simmons said.

“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.”

Gobert is maybe the top rim-protector of the league in the last 4-5 seasons, however he cannot definitely guard smaller players in one-on-one situations.

That does not change the fact he prevents easy buckets in the paint for the opposition’s forwards and guards. Simmons has also had a strong case for the DPOY award being among the main reasons the Sixers are leading the East.

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