Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons believed throughout this season they should be named Defensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year, respectively. On Wednesday, the NBA revealed both are finalists for their sought-after awards.
Embiid is up against Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Pelicans forward Anthony Davis. Simmons is in a highly-anticipated race against Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell and Celtics forward Jayson Tatum.
Brett Brown had made a strong case to be in Coach of the Year contention. The Celtics' Brad Stevens, Jazz's Quin Snyder and now-former Raptors head coach Dwane Casey are the finalists in that category.
Rounding out the awards, Davis, Rockets guard James Harden and Cavaliers forward LeBron James are in the battle for MVP. Rockets guard Eric Gordon, Raptors guard Fred VanVleet and Clippers guard Lou Williams are up for the Sixth Man award. Rockets center Clint Capela, Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie and Pacers guard Victor Oladipo will vie for Most Improved Player.
The votes were cast before the playoffs and based on regular-season performances.