Published: Thu, April 12, 2018
Medical | By Marta Holmes

76ers could set club record with 15th straight win

76ers could set club record with 15th straight win

As far as Ben Simmons is concerned, the Rookie of the Year award should be no contest.

Simmons does appear to be the front-runner - he's averaging 16.0 points per contest while leading all National Basketball Association rookies in both rebounds (8.1) and assists (8.2) per game -but the Utah Jazz's Mitchell also makes a compelling case, while Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum has been strong, too.

Once considered a glorified footnote by the national media during The Process-era, it's become nearly commonplace to see pundits on ESPN, FS1, and TNT debate just how far the 76ers can go in the 2018 playoffs, with many assuming that the team will end up in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Philadelphia 76ers will be one of the final four teams standing.

The win also guarantees Philadelphia home court advantage for the start of the playoffs. Simmons has converted 74.2 percent of his shots when finishing at the rim, and he has been doing it mainly on his own, as nearly two-thirds of those 69 field goals have been unassisted.

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"Our season has been exceptional".

Donovan Mitchell, who is also a very solid candidate in the Rookie of the Year race according to everyone but Simmons and maybe Joel Embiid, seemed to have seen these comments. "There is a toughness to our group".

The former number one overall pick has grown into his role game by game and already looks like a polished All Star calibre player just one campaign into his hugely promising career.

Without Embiid clogging up the paint, the 76ers have turned their recent outing into glorified track meets, with players zooming up and down the court, Richaun Holmes vaulting up into the air for a two-handed dunk, and seemingly endless three-point shots drained from around the court.

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"It's huge for the team", Simmons said.

Certainly, the Sixers are equipped to be contenders for years to come. "I think we got better over time". "It's better when you're winning".

The Philadelphia 76ers forward, who is the favorite for the prize, apparently doesn't think much of the Louisville product who has the Utah Jazz now in fourth place in the competitive Western Conference. Taurean Prince had 33 points and Damion Lee added 14 points to lead the Hawks, who won their second straight game.

Simmons has averaged more rebounds and assists than Mitchell, but the fact of the matter is that there is a lot more to be considered.

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And much of that success has to be awarded to Simmons. If that is the case, we will be getting the ultimate futures battle, with arguably the two best young cores going head to head in a way that we nearly never get to see. Atlanta rallied in the fourth quarter to take down Boston 112-106 on the road Sunday afternoon. The 76ers were expected to compete for a playoff spot, but they are in position to finish as high as third in the East.

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