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Ben Simmons On Rudy Gobert In The DPOY Race: "He’s Not Guarding One Through Five..."

(via CBS Sports)

(via CBS Sports)

While the MVP race may be a huge toss-up this season, the Defensive Player of the Year race is a hard-fought battle between two stars: Ben Simmons of the 76ers and Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz.

And while a solid case can be made for both of them, Simmons recently explained what separates him from his competitor.

(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.”

When it comes to guarding the interior, there isn't anyone better than Gobert, who is already a 2x Defensive Player of the Year.

Love him or hate him, Simmons isn't wrong about his take. Unlike Gobert (and a whole lot of others) he can guard any position and against all different types of opponents. He has the size, quickness, and talent to cover a much wider spectrum defensively.

Whether or not he'll win DPOY, however, is still very much up in the air.