Brett Brown made his case for Ben Simmons to win top rookie honors, and Simmons agrees.
“He is the stone cold Rookie of the Year,” Brown said.
The Sixers head coach’s strong words came after Simmons recorded his 10th triple-double of the season Saturday in the Sixers' win over the Timberwolves (see observations).
With 15 points, 12 rebounds and 13 assists in just under 30 minutes, Simmons posted a stat line that is becoming routine for the 6-foot-10 point guard.
“I think the play I’ve had over the season has been pretty consistent,” Simmons said. “I’m doing some things that haven’t been done in a while.”
Simmons is right. He already passed Magic Johnson for second-most triple-doubles by a rookie in NBA history and trails only Oscar Robertson in that category. The 21-year-old currently is averaging 7.9 assists, putting him on track to join Robertson as the only rookies to average at least 16 points, seven rebounds and eight assists per game.
In comparison to rookies around the league this season, Simmons ranks first in rebounds, assists and steals and second in scoring.
For as well as Simmons is playing, there will be a tough competition for the award.
Like Simmons, Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell is leading his team in the hunt for the playoffs. Mitchell is averaging 20.3 points (first among rookies), 3.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. He has scored 30-plus point in seven games, including a 40-point performance.
Forward Jayson Tatum also has been mentioned in Rookie of the Year consideration. Tatum is posting 13.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists on the Eastern Conference second-ranked Celtics.
"I’m not worried about putting up points every game,” Simmons said. “As long as we win, that’s all I’m worried about. I think everything else will come along with it. But that’s just not the way I play. I don’t need to score 30, 40 points every game. Now I can create 40 points by passing the ball, that’s easy to me."
The conversation about this award is far from over.