Monday, June 25, 2018

Celtics come up short at NBA Awards

Heading into the night with nominations in two of the six major categories, the Celtics came up empty at Monday's 2018 NBA Awards.

Brad Stevens, who finished with the third most Coach of the Year votes, fell behind Utah's Quin Snyder and former the Raptors' former head coach Dwane Casey. Jayson Tatum also fell third behind Donovan Mitchell and honoree Ben Simmons in the Rookie of the Year voting.

While most anticipated Tatum's fate, the first-guard who led the Jazz to an improbable playoff berth this past season was better-suited for the honors. Whether you consider Simmons -- the 2016 first overall pick, who missed the 2016-17 season -- a rookie or not, Mitchell led Utah to the fifth-best record in the Western Conference this past season.

Also, he did it in a season when his All-Star teammate Rudy Gobert missed 26 games. Still, Mitchell's 20.5 points and 3.7 assists a game was good enough for second place.

Simmons finished with 481 points, including 90 first-place votes. Mitchell tallied 323 points along with 11 first-place votes and Tatum came in third with 101 points, including two second-place votes to his name.

James Harden, the 2018 NBA MVP, took home top honors. His 965 total points topped LeBron James, who came in second, with 738 and Anthony Davis (445). Harden finished with 86 first-place votes to James' 15.

Third time's a charm for Harden, who was a finalist the last two seasons but lost to Russell Westbrook last year and Steph Curry the year before that. Harden now joins the list of MVPs -- one that includes his former Thunder teammates Westbrook and Kevin Durant on it. The trio has won three of the last five years.

Aron Baynes was the lone Celtic in attendance. He was on hand to accept hardware awarded to any members of the Celtics and had a low-key night.

Josue Pavón

Photo is courtesy of Getty Images

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