Boston Celtics: Jayson Tatum has NBA MVP written all over him

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images) /

Last night the Boston Celtics defeated the Miami Heat 134-121, improving their record to a league-best 18-4. In what was a close game well into the second half, the Celtics were able to pull away on the shoulders of 49 points from Jayson Tatum and secure the home victory.

With just under three quarters of the season left to play, it’s still far too early to be handing out yearly awards. However, from where things sit right now, Jayson Tatum is set up nicely to become the fifth player in Celtics history to win the MVP award.

Boston Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum is on pace to win the MVP award

It has been nearly four decades since the last Celtic MVP, dating back to when Larry Bird won the award in the 1985-86 season.

While the team has remained a contender for most of those years, it is safe to say that Tatum is the most transcendent player Boston has seen since their last MVP winner.

Tatum has made strides to greatness every year since entering the league; from becoming an all-star, achieving first team all-NBA, and taking the Celtics to a finals run last year.

This year could have a new accolade in store for Tatum to add to his growing legacy as MVP talks are really starting to gain traction. If things keep trending the way they are for Boston, this narrative will become reality.

“JT” has been on a tear all season, averaging 31.6 points (2nd in NBA) while shooting at a 48.8% clip, both of which are career-bests for Tatum. His rebounding and assist numbers are also hovering around career-high marks for him.

Tatum is primarily known as a scoring machine, however he is widely renowned as one of the league’s best two-way players. Defensive prowess is not much of a common talent among the NBA’s top stars , but Tatum does not fall under the category of a guy who can only score.

In the absence of defensive anchor Robert Williams, the Celtics have needed contributions from different places especially on rebounding and rim-protecting fronts. Tatum has proved the ability to aid in both areas, which has played a large role in the 18-4 record.

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In seven out of the last ten years, the MVP award has gone to a player on a team with the first or second seed in the playoffs. If the season ended today, the best player on the best team is undoubtedly Jayson Tatum. If this ten year trend means anything he will have a great shot to win if Boston is still atop the standings come April.

With the team already showing dominance and having Williams closing in on a return, there is no reason to believe that the Celtics won’t finish out the season as the top challenger in the East.

If they can live up to the hype that they have created, it will undoubtedly start with their superstar. Tatum showed last year he had the durability to lead a team to the top while playing the most total minutes in the NBA.

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Jayson Tatum is scoring and defending at an extremely high level, he is the leader on the leagues best team, he is as dependable and durable as they come, and should be the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for the 2022-23 season.