Ben Simmons gives his list of NBA’s 5 best defenders

Notorious video game expert Ben Simmons streamed Call of Duty on Twitch late Wednesday night, and halfway through the stream he and his streaming buddies started talking about the NBA.

The topic at hand, fitting for the Defensive Player of the Year candidate Simmons, was choosing the five best defenders in the league, and Simmons was surprisingly candid about his thoughts.

He started by defending James Harden’s often-mocked defense.

Yo, here’s the one thing. I’ve got something to say. Everyone talks on James’ D, but he can play D. I don’t think y’all understand how strong that dude is. He’s a strong guy. A lot of people listen to analytics and stuff, it makes no sense. Analytically? You can’t always look at numbers, man.

Harden is rightly clowned now and then for his effort level on defense, but Simmons clearly has firsthand experience against the Rockets guard. Unexpected!

Simmons then gave his take on two-time DPOY Rudy Gobert’s skills as an all-around defender, compared to a player like Anthony Davis:

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.

That’ll come across as controversial for some people, but it’s hard to fault the logic.

Simmons said at different points that he’d include the Clippers’ Pat Beverley and Kawhi Leonard in his Top 5, and when someone raised the idea of putting Giannis Antetokounmpo over Leonard in the list, Simmons wasn’t having it:

You’d put Giannis over Kawhi? You’ve never played Kawhi in the playoffs, then.

After Simmons tossed out names like former teammate Jimmy Butler, Boston’s Marcus Smart, and Miami’s Bam Adebayo, he realized he was forgetting someone:

You know what, Joel (Embiid). I’m trippin’.

Simmons, hilariously but accurately, also said he’d include himself in the Top 5.

So his list of the Top 5 defenders in the NBA looks like this, in no order:

Anthony Davis, Patrick Beverley, Kawhi Leonard, Joel Embiid, and Ben Simmons.

Gotta say, that’s a pretty good list. You can watch the full stream below while we all wait for basketball to return:

Watch Call of duty Warzone w/ ZENO from SimmoTheSavage25 on www.twitch.tv

The league, of course, has suspended its season amidst growing concerns over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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