76ers’ Dwight Howard Believes Ben Simmons Can Match LeBron James’ Levels in the Future

Published 02/26/2021, 6:51 AM EST
Jan 27, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) greets Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) before the start of the game at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports


The Philadelphia 76ers sit atop the Eastern Conference right now. Joel Embiid’s MVP campaign is the prime reason for their form, but one cannot discredit Ben Simmons’ contributions.

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The Australian has been phenomenal for them on both ends, and can do everything for them. Even if he doesn’t have a jump shot, it isn’t hindering his game, and he is just finding other ways to help his team. His ability to influence a game has impressed his teammate Dwight Howard, who said that he can reach LeBron James‘ levels if he continues to work for it.

Howard said, “He’s an amazing player. I love watching him play defense. His energy and effort have been top of the line. I just want him to continue to do that and stay humble and hungry. Because the sky’s the limit for Ben and like I said at the beginning of the season, LeBron James…”

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76ers’ Dwight Howard recognized Ben Simmons’ defense

Last night, the 76ers took down the Dallas Mavericks in a 111-97 win. One of the major reasons for their win was Simmons’ defense on Luka Doncic. He restricted Luka to just 6-13 from the field, and the Slovenian wasn’t able to play at his best. Luka has single-handedly won multiple games, but Simmons ensured that wouldn’t happen tonight.

Howard also praised him for this during the interview. “I believe he’s the best defensive player in the league right now,” he said.

Feb 25, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) slaps hands with center Dwight Howard (39) after scoring against the Dallas Mavericks during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Simmons labels himself as the best defensive player in the league

Simmons himself was proud of his effort on defense and labeled himself similarly. “If you can hoop, you can hoop,” he said. “Defensively, I feel like that’s just effort. I do feel like I’m the best defensive player in the league. I can guard 1 through 5.”

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While some may label him arrogant for those claims, the majority would agree that Simmons is challenging for that title. He finished fourth in the DPOY voting last season, and if he continues this form, he should definitely finish higher.

Feb 25, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) dribbles against Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Not only will he earn individual accolades if he keeps this effort going, but he could help the 76ers inch further to their first title since 1983. At their best, Simmons and Embiid can be a scary duo. After adding the supporting cast Daryl Morey has provided, they will definitely be a team to look out for in the playoffs.

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Aaron Mathew

1522 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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