Celtics forward Jayson Tatum: ‘None of this means anything if we don’t hang a banner’

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Celtics Jayson Tatum - I feel like Im the best player when I step on the court

Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum is proud of his effort in Wednesday night’s 125-98 road win over the Phoenix Suns, but the top MVP candidate has his sights set on a bigger goal: to win his first NBA championship.

“None of this means anything if we don’t hang a banner,” the three-time All-Star said after the win. “We remembered that,” added Tatum on struggling with Phoenix in previous games. “That was fresh on our minds. We wanted a different outcome.”

Per a few NBA betting sites, Celtics wing Jayson Tatum is the favorite to win MVP in 2023. Check out which sportsbooks are showing top-three odds for Luka Doncic and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

In their blowout win over the Suns, Tatum and Jaylen Brown led Boston in scoring with 25 points. Boston had an improbable 45-point lead over Phoenix during the third quarter.

Tatum also finished with five rebounds, two assists, and two steals in 30 minutes of action. He shot 9-of-19 (47.4%) from the floor and 3-of-8 (37.5%) beyond three-point range.

Celtics star and MVP candidate Jayson Tatum cares more about winning a championship than regular-season records

Al Horford missed the game after experiencing flu-like symptoms. Malcolm Brogdon made his return after missing one game due to a non-COVID illness. Brogdon amassed 16 points, three boards, and five assists in 19 minutes off the bench.

More importantly, the Celtics have won eight of their last nine games. They are 21-5 and sit at the top of the Eastern Conference standings.

“You enjoy the moment, but you’ve got to understand why you did it,” Celtics interim coach Joe Mazzulla said. “Then you’ve got to know that it’s a long year. This could happen to us. It might not, but we’re going to go through some type of obstacles throughout the year.”

While the C’s lead the NBA in scoring, averaging 120.8 points per game, their defense now is worse than it was last season. Boston is allowing 112 points per game, which ranks 12th overall.

Sportsbooks show the Celtics as the clear-cut favorite to win the 2023 NBA championship. The only Eastern Conference contenders capable of challenging Boston in the playoffs include the Milwaukee Bucks (18-6) and maybe the Cleveland Cavaliers (16-9).