Monday, 16 July, 2018

LeBron James and Ben Simmons Share Instagram Props After Dueling Triple-Doubles

Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons dunks against the Cleveland Cavaliers. – AP Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons dunks against the Cleveland Cavaliers. – AP
Melissa Porter | 12 April, 2018, 05:08

At 50-30, the Sixers are 20 games over.500 for the first time since end of the 2000-01 season.

Donovan Mitchell scored 28 points, collected nine rebounds and dished out eight assists to help Utah Jazz clinch a playoff spot by beating host Los Angeles. If you ask Simmons, it's an easy decision.

"Who would I pick? Me, 100 percent", Simmons said Sunday (AEDT), via ESPN .

No matter who you think ultimately deserves the honor, it's hard to deny that both players are having incredible seasons clearly deserving of recognition.

"If you look at the numbers, you will see", he said. While James took some heat for missing a potentially game-tying free throw, he led the Cavaliers with 44 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.

Following the Philadelphia 76ers' thrilling two-point win over the Cleveland Cavaliers last week, during which both Ben Simmons and LeBron James recorded triple-doubles, LeBron, who has always been a supporter of Simmons, called the Sixers' rookie the "Fresh Prince".

This is their first meeting since March 30th 2018, a game Philadelphia 76ers won by the score of 101-91 (Simmons: 11th triple-double of season).

Simmons' 12 triple-doubles during his rookie campaign ranks 2nd in National Basketball Association history behind Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson's 26. Ben Simmons had 19 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists and Joel Embiid had 21 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks in a 119-109 win over the Hawks at the Wells Fargo Center in November. They moved a game ahead of idle Cleveland for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference with two games left.

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.

Simmons, in particular, has raised his game during the winning streak.

The win also guarantees Philadelphia home court advantage for the start of the playoffs. The Philadelphia 76ers will be one of the final four teams standing.

Obviously, Mitchell doesn't share Simmons' views here.

"Championships", Simmons said. "I want to be the Defensive Player of the Year ... MVP". Mitchell leads all the first-year players in scoring, but that's his only advantage. In addition to shooting at a 44.0 percent clip from the field, he has returned an exceptional 5.0 assist-to-turnover ratio. Facing an Atlanta team that hasn't shown a ton of fight most of the season, not to mention that they've beaten twice, should be in their favor. 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.