On Wednesday night, the NBA announced the Defensive Player of the Year award winner for the 2020-2021 season. While Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons has certainly stated his case for winning the award on numerous occasions throughout the year, his campaigning didn't sway the voters in his favor enough.
Instead, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has taken home the hardware. Although Simmons had a convincing argument throughout the year, Gobert's latest win doesn't really come as much of a surprise.
As the DPOY award typically favors big men in the NBA, Gobert already had an advantage over Simmons, who spends a lot of his time guarding around the perimeter.
And since Gobert established himself as the league's best rim-protector and has even won the award twice before, he picked up his third DPOY nod on Wednesday as he earned 84 first-place votes, 14 second-place votes and two third-place votes to collect 464 total points, 177 more than Simmons.
Being the runner-up for the award he wanted so bad, Simmons likely won't celebrate his second-place seeding in the race for DPOY. However, the Sixers should be happy with the voting overall as they have not one, not two, but three players that received votes on the DPOY ballot this season.
In addition to Simmons placing second overall, with 15 first-place votes, 14 second-place votes, and 11 third-place votes, Sixers center Joel Embiid and guard Matisse Thybulle both received mentions on ballots.
Embiid's appearance on ballots shouldn't come as a surprise. While the big man became more focused on winning MVP this season, he's mentioned many times before he would like to one day earn Defensive Player of the Year honors.
While Embiid didn't earn any first-place votes, he did pick up two second-place votes along with a third-place nod for seven total points. In addition to Embiid, Sixers' second-year guard Matisse Thybulle collected a single third-place vote.
Thybulle might place last in the standings, but his appearance alone is a victory considering he's averaged the least amount of minutes per game this season compared to anybody else on the list.
Although the Sixers didn't get their wish to have Simmons named the NBA's best defensive player, the team should be thrilled to know they have three of some of the best defensive players in the league this year.