Australian NBA sensation Ben Simmons has been very impressive for the Philadelphia 76ers. In his four years at the NBA, he has already been a two-time All-Star and has also made appearances in the All-Defensive teams. While he is still a great prospect there are areas of his game that still need improvement.
If he wants people to remember him as a great player then he needs to improve on his offensive game. His jump shot is not reliable enough. However, there are no complaints regarding his solid defence. Even Sixers head coach Doc Rivers agrees to that rationale regarding the young Australian.
Rivers holds very high praise for Simmons and feels that his defence is safe as houses. The coach even goes further and compares the youngster’s defensive game with that of legendary players in Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman from the Chicago Bulls.
“He is such a unique defender. Most of the great defenders guard their position, and they do a great job there. Ben is a chameleon. Ben guards literally 1 through 5, and we’re not scared to put him on 1 through 5 on needed possessions,” Rivers claimed.
He then elaborated, “Dennis Rodman is crazy in a defensive way, as a player, they’re completely different players, but Dennis would often guard 1 through 5. They would just throw him on whoever had it going, so I guess you can go that far back. Scottie Pippen is in that category as well so there are very few people. I’m happy that people finally started to notice it. That’s nice to hear.”
Ben Simmons is undoubtedly one of the best defenders in the NBA currently. But to say that he is best is calling for an argument as there are elite defensive players in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Anthony Davis who will be the top contenders. While there are also players like Myles Turner who has stood up for Indiana Pacers this season and also his own teammate Joel Embiid who will also join the conversation of the best defenders.
While Rivers’ comparison of Simmons with the Bulls’ legend is understandable and is mostly done to motivate his own player, Simmons must not take it in its absolute terms. He should rather keep working hard and develop areas of his game which are not there at an elite level.