The Boston Celtics took us for a ride all the way to the NBA Finals last season and are looking to run it back with mostly the same group and a new head coach this season.
In pursuit of making a Finals run, Jayson Tatum led the Celtics and performed on another level that we haven’t seen before. He averaged 26.9 points per game while shooting 45 percent from the field and 35 percent from behind the arc, finishing sixth in MVP voting last year.
I believe Tatum can be a top candidate for MVP this year and here’s why.
For the fifth consecutive year, Tatum has increased his overall production and status as a player in the league. JT’s 26.9 points per game equates to 2,046 total points, making it the first time in his career he has surpassed 2,000 points in a single season.
There’s only six players to hit 2,000 points last year as it’s no easy feat and Tatum ranks fourth on the list:
-Trae Young (2,155)
-DeMar DeRozen (2,118)
-Joel Embiid (2,079
-Jayson Tatum (2,046)
-Nikola Jokic (2,004)
-Giannis Antetokounmpo (2,002)
Tatum did this last year by playing 35.9 minutes per game, totaling 2,731 minutes for the year, the most in his career and by 441 minutes more than last year, which averages to be about six more minutes per game considering the fact he played in 12 more games than the year prior.
The way Tatum scores the ball at the clip that he does is impressive. However to earn MVP it’s about overall production, which Tatum’s increased in each year since he’s been in the league. His 26.9 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game last year were all career highs and the stats would prove there’ll be another leap in production for Tatum this season.
What will really help Tatum’s case is if he can get on a hot start at the beginning of the season and remain consistent throughout the year. At the end of the day, it does come down to how well a player performs and carries their team. Nikola Jokic won back-to-back MVPs by doing exactly that and I think Tatum can too.
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