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Oversized Sixers point guard Ben Simmons has a respectable personal goal.
Here’s NBC Sports Philly reporting:
When asked about his goals for this season at media day, Ben Simmons would only reveal one.
He wanted to be the Defensive Player of the Year.
Saturday night against the Pacers, he acted like one, recording three steals in the final 13.9 seconds of the Sixers’ 119-116 win over the Pacers (see observations). Amid all the concern about Simmons’ offense and the question of whether he’ll ever be a willing and able jump shooter, he’s racked up some gaudy defensive numbers.
His 42 steals in 18 games are most in the NBA, while his 72 deflections and 41 loose balls recovered are second. Opponents have shot just 40.9 percent when guarded by Simmons this year.
The Sixers are 14-6 this season, placing them just 5th in the Eastern conference, but barely behind the second-place 14-4 Toronto Raptors.
Defensively, the Sixers are tied right now with the Jazz for the 5th most efficient defense in the league.