Philadelphia 76ers: The bench unit has transformed the team

Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons dunks against the Cleveland Cavaliers. – AP

"If you look at the numbers, you will see", he said. "And, oh by the way, we've won 50 games and we have home-court advantage and we've tied a record". Mitchell then replied back to Ingles, "Lmao bro like who cares (three laughing emojis) I'm still stuck on your dunk". The No.1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft is having a historic season on a team that will enter the playoffs with no fewer than 50 wins.

It also places him second all-time amongst rookies behind Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson.

Ben Simmons totaled 13 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists, two blocks, one steal and two turnovers in 26 minutes, 30 seconds. With the big man missing all five of Philadelphia's games in April, the point guard has scored 18.8 points per contest.

Philadelphia will open the playoffs at home for the first time since 2003, after clinching no worse than the No. 4 seed with its win over Dallas.

The Philadelphia 76ers forward took a page out of LeBron James' book this weekend by boldly declaring himself the favorite to win the 2018 NBA Rookie of the Year award. With the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference already locked up, Celtics coach Brad Stevens left Al Horford, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier on the bench for the entire fourth quarter. For right now he is just sticking with his prediction that they will at least make the Eastern Conference Finals. Simmons' play has accelerated their ascension and in the process put him in position to win the Rookie of the Year Award as the voters decide the Simmons vs. Mitchell debate once and for all. The 6-foot-3 combo guard is averaging a rookie-high 20.5 points per game and became the fastest rookie in league history to knock down 150 3-pointers, reaching the mark in 63 games; Portland Trail Blazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard previously did it in 68 games.

In an incredibly tight playoff race, Utah's recent winning streak could end up being the difference between them missing the postseason and earning home-court advantage in the first round.

The Sixers have been successful since Embiid's injury, intensifying the speed of the offense and relying heavily on the team's long-range shooters.

Simmons isn't here to soothe Mitchell's feelings, though. Simmons' production has been historic for a first year player, and he's delivered some mesmerising performances on the brightest of regular season stages. The rookie finished with 27 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists while James registered 44 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Hawks have lost seven of their past 10 games but they will be aiming for a third straight win after playing spoiler against the Celtics in a 112-106 road win on Sunday.

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