By Ann Wexler
The Sixers Ben Simmons finished 2nd and Joel Embiid 3rd behind Utah’s Rudy Gobert for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award.
Gobert received 84 first-place votes. Simmons finished second with 15 first-place votes and 67 second-place votes. Embiid received two second-place votes and a third-place vote, and fellow Sixers guard Matisse Thybulle also received a third-place vote.
Simmons has guarded players at all five positions at a high level. During the regular season, Simmons finished fourth in the league in defensive win shares, but the voters decided to with Gobert, who led the league in defensive rebounds per game (10.1), total defensive rebounds (720) and total blocked shots (190).