Brad Stevens, Jayson Tatum come up short at NBA Awards

NBA Coach of the Year finalist Brad Stevens came up short on Monday night at the NBA Awards, losing out to the recently-fired Dwane Casey, while forward Jayson Tatum lost out to Philadelphia 76ers guard/forward Ben Simmons for Rookie of the Year, in a televised ceremony in Santa Monica, Calif.

Stevens led the Celtics to a second-straight Eastern Conference Finals appearance in 2017-18, taking the Cleveland Cavaliers to seven games, despite missing prized free agent signing Gordon Hayward for all but six minutes of the season to a gruesome leg injury, and missing newly-acquired star point guard Kyrie Irving for all of the playoffs recovering from knee surgery. It marked the first time the Celtics had put together back-to-back 50-win seasons since having four straight such seasons from 2007-11. 

Casey was relieved of his duties at Toronto Raptors head coach after getting swept by the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, despite a 59-win season that saw Toronto capture the No. 1 overall seed and a fourth Atlantic Division title in five seasons. He has since been hired as head coach of the Detroit Pistons.

Utah's Quin Snyder was the other finalist, after guiding the Jazz to a surprise run to the Western Conference semifinals.

It's not the first time Stevens has been left on the outside looking in. He wasn't named a Coach of the Year finalist last season despite guiding the Celtics to an unexpected Atlantic Division title, No. 1 seed and Eastern Conference Finals appearance.

Tatum, meanwhile, turned in a brilliant rookie campaign for Boston after being taken with the No. 3 pick out of Duke University, averaging 13.5 points during the regular season and 18.5 for the playoffs. Simmons was the No. 1 overall pick out of LSU in 2016, but missed the entire 2016-17 season with injury, leaving him eligible for Rookie of the Year this season.

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell was the other finalist for Rookie of the Year.