Jayson Tatum Adds to MVP Case With Game-Winner Over 76ers
It is no secret that Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics is having a career year. The small forward from Duke is coming off an All-Star Game MVP where he set the record for most points scored in an All-Star Game with 55 points. Not to mention, he has led his Celtics to the best record in the NBA and is in the MVP conversation. This past weekend, the Celtics defeated their rival, the Philadelphia 76ers, in a heated battle by three points. The final score was 110-107. What sealed the game for Boston though was a game-winning three-point shot from none other than Jayson Tatum. Considering Philadelphia has their own MVP candidate in Joel Embiid and is also a contender, this helped Tatum’s MVP case.
Tonight's game-winner was nothing new.
Peep the most clutch buckets from Jayson Tatum's career so far 🎬 pic.twitter.com/xKWq10XJjN
— NBA (@NBA) February 26, 2023
Jayson Tatum Moving up the MVP Ladder
Jayson Tatum’s Season So Far
Despite losing in the NBA Finals last year against the Golden State Warriors, Tatum has not let that discourage him from developing into a superstar. He has developed a great relationship with his co-star, Jaylen Brown, and is turning into more of a leader before our very eyes. So far, Tatum is averaging 30.4 points, a career-best 4.6 assists, one steal, and 8.7 total rebounds per game. Not to mention, he is also tallying a field goal percentage of 46.1 percent and is also averaging a player efficiency rating of 23.8.
For context, his other MVP counterparts, Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, and Giannis Antetokounmpo, all have player efficiency ratings around the same range. While these players do have a higher player efficiency rating than Jayson Tatum right now, bear in mind that Tatum is the only one who had a teammate make the All-Star Team, until Jrue Holiday was selected as an injury replacement. Not to mention, Boston’s team success is a direct correlation to how well Jayson Tatum has played this season.
Boston Celtics Looking Like Championship Contenders Again
The Celtics are the best team in the league currently and it is no coincidence. They are extremely well coached and have a great supporting cast around Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Players such as Al Horford, Marcus Smart, and Robert Williams III have been excellent fits. Head coach, Joe Mazzulla, has done a great job taking over after the Ime Udoka fiasco that occurred in the offseason. Just how good is this Celtics team? They currently have a team defensive rating of 112.1 (fourth in the NBA) to go along with a team offensive rating of 118.2 (third in the NBA).
On top of this, they also possess a win-loss record of 44-17. Boston is currently 0.5 games ahead of the second seed in the Eastern Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks. With a top-five offense and a top-five defense, the Celtics have a legitimate chance to make it back to the NBA Finals. Especially with the elite small forward in Jayson Tatum leading the way. With all of this in mind, it is easy to see why Jayson Tatum is making a solid case for potentially being this year’s NBA MVP.
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