One of the fun parts of this hiatus and quarantine is a bunch of NBA players are firing up Twitch and are answering all sorts of questions from fans. It's a nice reminder that these dudes are just 20 somethings who pass the time just like many of you do. Well the other day Ben Simmons was gaming and was asked to give his Top 5 defenders in the league today, and I have to admit his answers and reasoning was a bit confusing. Here's where he netted out
Not a bad list I guess, you could make a case for each guy, but it's wildly inaccurate and the logic behind his reasoning doesn't exactly make sense. For example, here's what he said when it came to leaving back to back DPOY Rudy Gobert off his list
I look at AD and I think he's a better defender than Gobert, because he can defend guards at times. ... Look, I play ball, I'm looking at guys who can guard 1 through 5, man. ... You can't say you're one of the best defenders if you're not guarding every position.
So wait. If you have to be able to guard all 5 positions if we're talking about the best defenders, well then what are Joel Embiid and Patrick Beverley doing on this list? What guards can Joel Embiid lock down? If you're talking about guarding all 5 positions and you need a guard, how are you going Patrick Beverley over someone like Marcus Smart who legit DOES guard all 5 positions? I just don't see how you can leave Gobert off this list and then replace him with a center who does not do the thing you are saying is required to be considered a top 5 defender. You lost me with that one. Because if we're talking big man defense, Rudy Gobert is better than Joel Embiid. Period, full stop. That doesn't mean Embiid stinks, far from it, but he's not on the level of a 2 time DPOY.
The rest of his list is pretty spot on. AD, Kawhi, and Simmons are monsters on the defensive end who are putting up DPOY type seasons. Think of it this way, how many of these guys are going to make First Team All Defense? Most definitely not Embiid and Beverley. Hard for me to think you're a top 5 defender if you aren't making First Team All Defense, I think that's fair. Shit, Eric Bledsoe is a better defender than Beverley too in my opinion. Chances are Giannis will make 1st team over Kawhi too, but I think we all know what type of defender Kawhi is so he's a little different.
So since we're all trapped in our houses and losing our minds, who would you rank as your top 5 defenders this season? Here's mine based on the All NBA format (2 Gs, 2 Fs, 1 C)
G - Ben Simmons
G - Marcus Smart
F - LeBron James
F - Giannis Antetokounmpo
C - Rudy Gobert
Now feel free to yell at me on the internet.