The NBA announced the 2020-21 All-Defensive teams as the Philadelphia 76ers had three players named between the two teams.
Impressively, Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Matisse Thybulle all cracked the prestigious team rosters. Simmons, who many thought to be worthy of the Defensive Player of the Year award, was elected to the first team. He is joined by Jrue Holiday, Giannis Antentokounmpo, Draymond Green, and Rudy Gobert.
Embiid and Thybulle help round out the second team alongside Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, and Bam Adebayo. Boasting three All-Defensive members speaks to the talent and discipline of the team. Additionally, it is the second time in franchise history that three Sixers were nominated to all-defensive teams in a single season.
The trio of Simmons, Embiid, and Thybulle have all been tremendous all year. The trio has done an excellent job of anchoring the Philadelphia 76ers’ defense and helped establish the tenacious identity the team carries. Their defensive efforts were a large reason the team was able to secure the top seed in the East.
Simmons and Thybulle both finished the regular season in the top ten in steals and deflections. The two did an awesome job of suffocating opposing offenses along the perimeter, limiting the impact of explosive guards and jump shooters.
Embiid was his usual, dominant self down low. The all-star big man shut down the paint all season long. He averaged nearly a pair of blocks per night and constantly deterred players from scoring near the rim.
After Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons were snubbed of the MVP and DPOY honors, it’s nice to see some Sixers players receive national recognition. The trio of Embiid, Simmons, and Thybulle has been masterful on the defensive end this year, and their all-defensive nominations verify their status as some of the elite defenders in the league.
I’m almost certain this won’t be the last time they see their names listed on the exclusive teams. For now, though, let’s cherish their success and show them some love on social media!