Celtics Teammates Believe Jayson Tatum Is Worthy Of MVP Hype

'Undoubtedly, he should be leading the MVP race right now'

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December 1, 2022

Over the course of five seasons, Boston Celtics fans enjoyed watching their young star blossom into one of the league’s best players. In year six, there’s no question Jayson Tatum has elevated his game to an MVP level.

Boston’s superstar has led the charge on an 18-4 start in which the Celtics have put together one of the best offensive stretches you’re likely to ever see. The Celtics’ offensive rating over their most recent five-game stretch, which was capped off by a win over the Miami Heat at TD Garden on Wednesday, averages out to 1.332. That’s a solid number considering the NBA average this season is 1.122 and the NBA record stretched across an entire season is 1.183, according to Celtics radio voice Sean Grande.

Over the course of Boston’s five-game winning streak, Tatum has been the driving force behind an offensive explosion. The Celtics have eclipsed 120 points in each of those contests, with their lowest margin of victory coming in the lone game he has sat out. In the other four contests, Boston’s superstar has dropped 37, 31, 30 and 49 points, respectively. The MVP-level performance has been something special to watch.

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“It’s incredible, man. I’ve gotten to play (against) him a good amount in my career and he’s taken a giant step every year,” Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon said Wednesday, per team-provided video. “To play the way he did last year, to be in the MVP race at times last year and to take the jump he has this year is pretty incredible to watch.

“Undoubtedly, he should be leading the MVP race right now,” Brogdon continued. “He’s playing at a superstar level.”

If stats and teammate praise aren’t enough to convince you Tatum is worthy of consideration, perhaps these words from his head coach will.

“(I trust him) 1,000%. He’s just making the right play,” Joe Mazzulla said Wednesday. “He’s doing a great job of reading the coverage… I think he manages the team by continuing to play the right way. He’s getting catch and shoot shots, he’s setting screens, he’s running the floor in transition, he’s getting to the free throw line. So I think the fact that his game is versatile — a lot of the stuff he does opens up things for other.

“There’s about 15-18 points a game he’s getting, just about what he’s doing without the basketball. So I think it’s just as much about — how do you play? Because you’re a great player. But, how do you make the people around you better?”

Tatum’s teammates are enjoying great success playing alongside him, as Jaylen Brown is averaging a career high in points (26.1), Marcus Smart is averaging a career high in assists (7.6) and Boston has five players (Al Horford, Grant Williams, Sam Hauser, Derrick White and Brogdon) shooting over 45% from beyond the arc.

Boston fans understand how special this season has been for Tatum, showering him with “MVP” chants on Wednesday night. But it’s about time the rest of the NBA world starts taking a more serious look at the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Month for November.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
Syndication: The Enquirer
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