PG - Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers @ Detroit Pistons
Second verse, same as the first. As much as Donovan Mitchell should be lauded for his rookie season with the Utah Jazz, he can't keep up with Simmons' near triple-double pace down the stretch run. The 76ers rookie had 15 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in just 25 minutes Tuesday night in their 11th straight win as they continue to stalk Cleveland for the No. 3 spot in the East.
Simmons has averaged 13.1 points, 11.2 assists and 10.4 rebounds in his last 12 games, recording a double-double or better in all but one contest in that stretch. He is also shooting 56.6 percent in those games, and the only real mystery involving him over Philadelphia's final five games is whether he will make a 3-pointer (Simmons is zero for 11 from beyond the arc and has taken exactly two since the turn of the calendar year).
He had a triple-double in his first meeting against the Pistons, totaling 21 points, 12 rebounds and ten assists in a 97-86 road win October 23 and has averaged 15.0 points, 8.7 rebounds and 8.3 assists in Philadelphia's three victories while shooting 63.3 percent.
Also consider: Jrue Holiday, New Orleans Pelicans vs Memphis Grizzlies
While Holiday's teammate Rajon Rondo is also a viable option, Holiday's greater upside as a scorer in contrast to Rondo's pass-first mentality gives him the nod here against the woeful Grizzlies. Holiday has averaged 18.8 points, 6.2 assists, 5.8 rebounds and 2.0 steals in his last five games while shooting 53.8 percent.
After two sub-par games against Memphis in which he totaled 16 points, 12 rebounds and ten assists while shooting seven for 23, Holiday broke out for 27 points and eight assists on ten-of-19 shooting in a 111-104 victory January 20. He has averaged 15.0 points and 6.3 assists in 20 lifetime games against the Grizzlies.
Low-cost option: Reggie Jackson, Detroit Pistons vs Philadelphia 76ers
After missing nearly half the season with a severely sprained ankle, Jackson has found his groove recently, though it is all but certain to conclude with the end of the regular season since the Pistons are on the verge of elimination from the playoff race. Jackson scored a season-high 29 points in his last game Sunday versus Brooklyn and has averaged 18.8 points and 4.0 assists in his last five contests.
In the two games he did play versus the 76ers this season, Jackson totaled 41 points and 11 assists while shooting 53.3 percent (16 for 30) and had 25 points on nine-of-13 shooting in a 108-103 loss December 2. He has averaged 19.4 points and 4.9 assists in his last nine games against Philadelphia while shooting 42.1 percent from 3-point range.