Could Jayson Tatum Really Win MVP?
Jayson Tatum has had the best 25-game start to his career in his 6th season and is making huge waves around the league. The 24-year old is the leader for the Boston Celtics and has led his team to a 20-5 record, topping the Eastern Conference at the moment.
Tatum is averaging 30.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1 steal and 1 block per game. By the way, he is leading the C's in points, rebounds and blocks as well. He has done this with great consistency as well, posting at least 20 points in 16 of his last 20 games.
His standout performance of the year so far, came against the Heat just one week ago on November 30, when he went for 49 points. He was 8-12 from beyond the arc and added 11 boards and 3 assists as the Celtics put up their second-best mark of the season with a 134 point outburst.
Tatum has been the offensive anchor for the Celtics ever since being drafted in 2017 and has gotten better every single season since. His 30.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game and his 48% field goal percentage are all his best marks in a season so far in his career. His 37 minutes per game is also his career best but as the season winds down this number will certainly go down.
So can Tatum really win the MVP this year at just 24-years old? Well he's definitely on the short list, but how tough is it to get to the top of that short list?
Currently, the list consists of Luka Doncic (33.4, 8.5 and 8.5), Giannis Antetokounmpo (31.9, 11.3 and 5.5), Nikola Jokic (23.1, 10.2 and 8.9) and Steph Curry, 30, 6.6 and 7) amongst several others.
However, the Kia MVP ladder, updated week-to-week, currently has Tatum holding the top spot. Thanks to his ridiculous stats sheet and the Celtics current ranking as the first place team by over 2 games, Tatum is sitting tall as the current favorite to win the award.
The award may rest on the Celtics success. Tatum has had a phenomenal year, however based on how thi current Celtics roster is built, there is just no way Tatum can have a good enough season statistically to compete with these other guys. The Celtics are so well-rounded that Tatum doesn't have to score 35 a game or grab 10 boards or dish 10 assists. Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brogdon, Jaylen Brown and Al Horford round out this lineup so well that Tatum will likely drop his stats by the end of the season due to natural degression from sitting more and other players stepping up.
This doesn't mean hope is lost. The Celtics are on pace to go 65-17, which would be the most wins by an NBA team since the 2018 Rockets, and the best record in the East since the 2013 Heat with Lebron, D-Wade and Bosh.
If the Celtics can get anywhere close to this mark, Tatum's chances of winning MVP will be stellar.
It's truly fitting that the first ever MVP award that could be won by a team effort, would go to Jayson Tatum and this Celtics team. For over 3 years now, this exact roster has been built around him and has worked as a unit to become better and better each year. This year seems to be the one that all the pieces are coming together, now let's see if they can finish it strong.
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