Throughout the entire season it has been a mere formality that the Sixers' Ben Simmons was going to win NBA Rookie of the Year. Simmons, who averaged 15.8 points, 8.2 assists and 8.1 rebounds in the regular season - all while doing it with "young LeBron-like" style and flash, led the Sixers on a 16-game win streak to close the year. He deserves the award … for the regular season.
Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum will likely finish third in NBA Rookie of the Year voting behind Simmons and dynamic Utah rookies Donovan Mitchell.
But so far in the Celtics - Sixers semi-final showdown, the 20-year-old Tatum has simply outclassed the 21-year-old Simmons. Tatum pumped in 28 points on 8-of-16 shooting in Game 1 and also shot 50 percent from the floor in Game 2, scoring 21. Tatum was an integral part of Boston's Game 1 blowout victory and Thursday night's 108-103 come-from-behind result.
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Simmons, meanwhile, bottomed out on Thursday night as TJ McConnell was the better option running the point for Sixers coach Brett Brown. In 31 minutes of action, Simmons finished with a humiliating one point on 0-4 shooting. He did dish out seven assists but seemed distant and disinterested running the Sixers offense throughout most of the game.