The Philadelphia 76ers are rolling right now. Winners of 7 of their past 10 games, they currently hold the best record in the Eastern Conference with 37 wins and 17 losses. More impressively, their record could've been way better if the NBA hadn't forced them to play without multiple players due to a COVID-19 outbreak earlier in the season.
It's clear that Doc Rivers gave the team the turnaround they needed and now that Joel Embiid is healthy again, it doesn't seem like many teams could take them down in a seven-game series in the playoffs.
And, even though his offensive numbers have been once again underwhelming, Ben Simmons' defensive impact has been nearly unmatched in the league this season. That's why he's one of the frontrunners to be named Defensive Player of the Year.
Ben Simmons Says He Wants To Be The Best Defender In The League
Nonetheless, it seems like the former first-overall pick isn't satisfied with being just a front-runner. He wants to be considered the undisputed best defender in the league. Clear-cut, hands down:
“I want to be the clear cut best defender in the league... I don’t want to be second or third," Simmons sentenced.
Simmons Explains Why They Have The Upper Hand Over The Brooklyn Nets
It's clear that Simmons is quite confident in his skills but more than that, he's also a strong believer in his teammates. That's why he recently claimed that their goal is taking down the Los Angeles Lakers and that they can also beat the Brooklyn Nets because they don't play defense:
"We're going for the past champs, the Lakers. They were the ones who won a championship, so you got to give the respect to them. Obviously, Brooklyn has a lot of talent. But at the end of the day, there's only one ball and you gotta play defense too," Simmons said after the game.
While Simmons' words may seem like a bold take, he's not that far off. The Nets have the 5th-worst defense in the NBA, but they just continue to find ways to outscore their rivals thanks to their deadly offensive trio.
Ben will have a chance to put his money where his mouth is this week, as Sixers and Nets will clash in a potential Eastern Conference Finals preview, and you better believe both teams have that game marked in their calendars.