Rookie Donovan Mitchell has led the surprising Utah Jazz to an 11-game winning streak and into the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. Along the way, his campaign for Rookie of the Year has picked up steam. Media types and fellow NBA players have been hopping aboard the Mitchell hype wagon over past the few weeks. After appearing to have the trophy locked up in October, it seems Ben Simmons finally has some competition. On Wednesday, he made a statement for all those ready to hand over the award to Mitchell. During the Sixers' incredible 104-102 comeback win over the Miami Heat, Simmons recorded his sixth triple-double this season with 18 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. The only players with more triple-doubles as a rookie: some dudes named Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson. While Simmons has serious work to do to catch Robertson's record (26), he's only one behind Johnson (7) with 27 games remaining. "I was only reminded of his triple-double about three steps before I opened the door to come out here," head coach Brett Brown said after the game. "And he just sort of quietly assumes statistics. You feel his presence but not to the level until I look at the stat sheet and you say, 'Really? 18, 10 and 12?' Those are massive numbers — in a close game." Mitchell has been tremendous. He's averaging 21.3 points per game and shooting 40 percent from three in his last 10 games. This isn't a hit piece on Donovan Mitchell. It's a reminder of how stellar Ben Simmons has been.
Why Ben Simmons is still Rookie of the Year favorite over Donovan Mitchell
NBC Sports Philadelphia | Feb 15