Sixers' Ben Simmons Defends James Harden's Defense While Streaming
A handful of Philadelphia 76ers players are trying to get through their self-quarantines by picking up or continuing certain hobbies. Late last week, Sixers rookie Matisse Thybulle decided to start creating short videos via the Tik Tok platform.
Sixers' veteran forward Tobias Harris is uploading pictures to his Instagram, pretending as if his team just completed a game recently. And as expected, Sixers stars Joel Embiid, and Ben Simmons are finding themselves spending a lot of time doing their usual hobbies, which is playing video games.
It has become the norm for NBA players to stream themselves playing games on the net for fans to watch as the NBA remains on suspension. Ben "Simmo, the Savage" Simmons, is no different on that front. Over the last two days, the Sixers' All-Star has spent some time on his Twitch channel streaming his play online for all to see.
And Simmons didn't limit his gaming session to just talking video games. To no surprise, he spoke a little bit about basketball as well. As others on the stream with him wanted to talk top NBA defenders, Simmons weighed in with his two cents by naming a few players that he believes are supreme defenders.
However, Simmons wasn't limited to just crediting who he views as the best. He also defended a superstar that often gets called out for being a lousy defender. As we know, Houston Rockets guard James Harden is an excellent player when it comes to offense and scoring. More often than not, though, NBA fans find joy in calling out the fact he can be a liability on the defensive side of the ball.
That's what happened during Simmons' streaming session on Wednesday night, and the Sixers' star wasn't having it at all. "Here's the thing, I've got something to say," Simmons said. "Everyone talks on James' [defense], 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."
A comment like that coming from Simmons holds weight. Not only has Simmons played against Harden throughout his first few years in the NBA, but he's also a guard that focuses a lot on the defensive side of the ball. Not to mention he's also one of the top defenders at his position. If Simmons sees it this way, that opinion must mean a lot more than the ones coming from the off-court critics.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_