Can Ben Simmons Lead the League in Steals and Blocks?
Ben Simmons has already secured himself as one of the top all around defenders in the NBA, but so far this season he has shown the incredible ability to protect the rim. Through the first 3 games, Simmons is tied for 3rd in the NBA in blocks per game. This is a scary sight for opposing offenses, as it is already known that Big Ben is a thorn in an opposing offense’s side along the perimeter. Now they have to watch for him and Joel Embiid in the paint.
Last season, Ben Simmons ranked first in steals per game, second in total steals, and was top 3 in steals percentage. Simmons is not quite as high on the leaderboard for steals so far this season, but is still averaging 1.7 steals per game through the first three games. The steal numbers will likely go up, as Ben leads the NBA in deflections with 17. Once more balls start bouncing his way (which they will) you’ll see those numbers balance eachother out. We all know how impactful Ben’s defense was last season. He finished the year as a 1st team all-defense selection, so even though Ben is not at the top of the steals list currently, I have no doubt that he will end up in the upper echelon in that category by year’s end.
All of these numbers attest to Ben’s unique versatility defensively. His ability to not only pick pockets, and stuff jumpers, but also effectively guarding post-ups and blocking shots as a help defender puts him at the top of a very short list of NBA players who have that ability.
Ben Simmons has come a very long way from his lazy defensive habits during his rookie season, and has cemented himself at the top of the NBA in terms of defense. While it may not be likely, Simmons might have a shot at being in the top 5 of both blocks and steals, which would make it impossible to not give him the Defensive Player of the Year trophy.
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