In the NBA, we often get two completely different stories in both the regular season and the playoffs. This especially has often been the case with Giannis Antetokounmpo’s career so far. Comparisons also often appear in the NBA, and it seems like this is a good time to bring one up between Antetokounmpo and Ben Simmons.
One main thing that the two have had in common for a while now is the defensive strategy against them. Give them space, allow them to shoot threes, try to lock down the paint, and cut off passing lanes to their teammates.
While Giannis does shoot a healthy amount of threes, he doesn’t exactly make them at a high enough clip for better defensive teams to respect it. Ben Simmons, on the other hand, doesn’t even shoot them. Over the course of this season, Giannis hit 30.4% of his threes and only made 25.6% of them last season. Simmons finally started taking threes this year and made 28.6%.
Hold on, let’s take a quick look and compare Giannis’ third season with Simmons’ current season since that would be more of an equivalent.
Something seems eerily similar here, let me know if you see it. Even with Giannis being the bigger player, he was getting the same amount of rebounds as Simmons. There’s one main difference between these two guys and it’s that Ben Simmons has a better court vision and passing ability.
On the defensive end, Giannis is playing more against big men and playing more of a help defense role as he protects the paint and the rim. Simmons is playing more on-ball defense against the other team’s number one or number two offensive option.
Another big difference is that when the general public thinks of Giannis Antetokounmpo, they think an unstoppable MVP candidate. When they think of Ben Simmons, however, it’s a player who’s ‘afraid’ to shoot threes and can only pass the ball.
I think it’s time we start looking at the big time similarities between the two and realize how deadly Ben Simmons and Giannis Antetokounmpo can really be. So that begs the question, is Giannis a bigger Simmons or is Simmons a smaller Giannis?