#TeamSimmons or #TeamMitchell ?

As we saw on the previous article, the run for the ROY award was very tough with from one side Ben Simmons and the other Donovan Mitchell. With this new article I want to illustrate the close battle between those two players in order to help you deciding which team you stand with.

I based my study on the Game Score metric (created by John Hollinger) which give a measure about a player’s productivity during a game (40 is an outstanding performance, 10 a basic performance and a negative Gsc is of course an awful performance).


I plotted the boxplots of the Game Score for each player plus I added Tatum (who finished 3rd of the ROY ranking) to show that our two players were clearly more decisive than the others rookies.

As you can see, Mitchell and Simmons medians are around 15 (which means that Half of the games during the season, the player ended with a score of at least 15) while Tatum’s median is around 10. With those boxplots we can see that Simmons seems to be better than Mitchell.

Game Score per game

I plotted the evolution of the Gsc during the regular season for Simmons (red) and Mitchell (blue).

During the 20 first games, Simmons was better than Mitchell. However, between the 20th and 35th game, Mitchell took the lead and finally from game 40 until the end of the regular season Simmons was ahead.

What about play-offs ?

This time, I displayed the evolution of the Game Score per months plus I added the play-offs performance. The first month is October and month 8 is play-offs.

The domination of Ben Simmons is well illustrated  : except in December (month 3) where Mitchell had a better score and in play-offs (month 8) where they were very close, the Fresh Prince was better than the Spider.

And against big teams ?

In addition, to be sure that they played well not only against weak teams (like the Kings or the Hakws) I drew their Game Score for games against the top 8 of each conference (remember that a team plays 4 times against a team that are in the same conference and 2 times against teams that are in the other conference).

Against big teams, Ben Simmons seems to be slightly better than Donovan Mitchell.

If you wonder why there are only 7 teams represented on each conference it is because I isolated the games were Utah Jazz and Philadelphia 76ers played against each other and here are the results :

I think that it does not need any comments.

P.S : Winrate against those big teams : Simmons = 44 %, Mitchell = 48 %.


I show you some diagrams which illustrate shoots repartition, points repartition and shoot by distance.