The Philadelphia 76ers have been lacking out on some particular person awards in 2021 as they’ve had some worthy candidates, nevertheless it simply wasn’t meant to be. After Joel Embiid misplaced out on MVP to Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic, they’d one other star miss out on a postseason award.
Ben Simmons was named a finalist for Defensive Participant of the 12 months, however the award went to Utah Jazz massive man Rudy Gobert for the third time in his profession. It does make sense to give the award to Gobert who had one other unimaginable defensive season for the Jazz, however Simmons is a man who constantly takes on the opposition’s finest scorer and he can defend 1-through-5.
Simmons additionally scored a career-high 42 factors in opposition to Gobert and the Jazz again in February and Simmons threw some shade at him a bit after the loss.
“I used to be dissatisfied Joel didn’t win MVP, however I assumed, if you consider Joker, and what he’s performed all 12 months and that he’s performed within the quantity of video games that he performed in, he was the worthy winner,” stated coach Doc Rivers. “I really feel the identical approach about that Ben. Ben missed a ton of video games as effectively, however what I really like about each is the final couple years, they weren’t talked about in both a type of classes and now they’re on the board.”
Simmons continues to lock up the likes of fellows like LeBron James, Zach LaVine, Jayson Tatum, Bradley Beal, and now he’s defending Trae Younger in Spherical 2 of the playoffs. The argument is that he defends a wide range of completely different gamers whereas Gobert clearly solely defends massive males and defends the rim actually.
Due to this argument, some would say that Simmons was snubbed, however one can’t take away from what Gobert has performed in Utah.
“I don’t need to use the phrase snub since you don’t need to take away nothing that Rudy has completed over there in Utah,” stated George Hill who performed for the Jazz within the pas. “I’ve been his teammate as effectively and he’s he’s an ideal defender. Probably the greatest within the league and he’s Defensive Participant of the 12 months this 12 months so it’s what it’s.”
Whereas successful Defensive Participant of the 12 months would have been good for Simmons, simply as successful MVP would have been for Embiid, the Sixers nonetheless have an opportunity at a championship. They need to focus extra on that fairly than any particular person awards proper now.
“We don’t actually care or strive to focus on self accolades proper now,” stated Hill. “Our objective is to win a championship and I believe Ben can be excited to strive to win a championship as an alternative of a Defensive Participant of the 12 months. It’s nice to get a self-accomplishment award, however I do know Ben and I do know the competitor he’s. What’s extra necessary to him is that championship.”
The excellent news for each Simmons and Embiid is that they’re each youthful gamers. Simmons is just 24 and Embiid at 27 nonetheless has an opportunity at successful these awards.
“With their youth and progress that we anticipate, I do assume sooner or later within the close to future, Ben can be Defensive Participant of the 12 months and Joel can be MVP,” Rivers added. “Numerous instances you have got to have an MVP season, the 12 months earlier than, earlier than you turn out to be the MVP, and similar factor with any of those awards.”