Sixers forward Ben Simmons is ready to show his defensive potential
Sixers forward (guard?) Ben Simmons has been a solid defender across the board since entering the NBA as the No. 1 overall pick out of LSU in 2016, despite not showing too much upside on that end while in college.
Since then the Philadelphia 76ers guard has elevated to be in the conversation of first-team all-NBA defensive team, and arguably still has room to make a major leap on that end of the floor.
Simmons, on Instagram, sent a warning shot letting it be known that he is looking to take yet another leap.
Sixers forward Ben Simmons sends shot on Instagram
Ben Simmons took to Instagram to post a video that the Sixers put up on Instagram to his story with the caption: “😤😤 just getting started”
Within the video, you hear Doris Burke praising Simmons and his defensive skillset, noting his physique, speed, and ability to guard all five positions.
After being controversially awarded the Rookie of the Year award in 2017 and getting named to two consecutive All-Star teams, the next big step for Simmons in terms of accolades would be getting named to an All-NBA team.
Averaging 16.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 8.2 assists, and a league-leading 2.1 steals per game, Simmons is in prime position to get named to an All-NBA team this year. His defensive box plus/minus is 2.4 this season, and he forces opponents to shoot 4.7 percent worse when he’s a primary defender from the field.
Simmons is also second to Jrue Holiday in total deflections this season.
While not quite in the mainstream conversation for Defensive Player of the Year this season, that should be the ultimate pathway and goal for Simmons as he moves forward. Elevating to that level will make him one of the very best two-way players in the league.
It’s the exact sort of expectation you’d have from a player posting such an intense warning shot on his Instagram story.