The Boston Celtics haven’t had an NBA MVP winner since the 1980’s when Larry Bird took home three straight. The drought could very well come to an end this season.
Star forward Jayson Tatum has had an uncharacteristically fast start to the year, averaging just over 31 points, seven points, and four assists per game. Through the first 10 games, JT has led the Celtics to a 7-3 record, which is good enough for third in the Eastern Conference. There’s a lot of season left to be played, but so far Tatum is looking like he could take home the 2022-23 NBA MVP award.
Before the season, I hypothesized that the 24-year-old could make his way into the MVP conversation. With the way he elevated his play over the second half of last season, it wasn’t hard to imagine him taking home the Maurice Podoloff Trophy sometime down the line. Over the course of the last 29 games of the 2021-22 NBA season, the St. Louis native averaged 28 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. In the process, he shot 49% from the field and 39% from deep.
Tatum’s second-half surge played a big part turning things around after a slow start to the season for both him, and the Boston Celtics. The team saw great success, making it all the way to the NBA Finals, where they eventually fell to the Golden State Warriors in six games. Along the way, Tatum had some key moments to help keep the season alive, including at 46-point Game 6 against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Odds for Boston Celtics F Jayson Tatum to win the 2022-23 NBA MVP award
With the monster second half carrying over into the new season, the oddsmakers are starting to believe in Taco Jay. Before the season, Jayson Tatum’s MVP odds were listed at +1400. As of Wednesday, that number sits at +700, according to WynnBett.
Tatum’s play seems to be improving game by game. Something about this season just feels different for him. It seems as if he’s dominating every game he plays. His offense feels like it’s being forced less and the points are coming easy. The easy offense comes from the fact that Tatum is getting to the charity stripe nearly nine times per game, which is about three more times than he did last year. Just about eight of his attempts from the line are going down each night, which is fifth-best in the league. Tatum joins Luka Dončić, Kevin Durant, Trae Young, and Giannis Antetokounmpo in the top five. That’s some pretty elite company.