Last season, Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum got off to a strong start and was an early favorite for the MVP award. By midseason, Tatum struggled and ultimately fell out of the race as it came down to Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid; the latter of whom won the award.
After a sluggish finish to the season and not being at full strength in a heartbreaking Game 7 loss to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, I expect Tatum to have a strong 2023-24 season. Tatum will put together a full season and grab his first MVP award. Here are three reasons why Tatum will be the first Celtics player to win MVP since Larry Bird in 1986.
No. 1 reason Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum will win MVP: He is more motivated than ever
Throughout his career, Tatum has responded well to pressure, and I fully expect him to next season. Tatum has heard the chatter all offseason that he can’t lead a team to a title and that he had a poor end to the season. As Tatum continues to mature, he is also growing hungrier for a championship.
Tatum has already done enough to be considered a top player with his elite two-way ability, but he will be on a revenge tour next season. I also don’t think Tatum will need to campaign like Embiid did last season.
No. 2 reason Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum will win MVP: Availability
One of the most important things a player needs to win MVP in the NBA is availability. Tatum is arguably the most durable superstar in the NBA, and it will lead to him winning the award. Tatum has played the most minutes since entering the NBA in 2017, and he continues to produce at a high level.
All Tatum has to do is maintain his normal stats for a full season, and he should be rewarded for his availability. Tatum’s recent camp where he talked to players about the importance of playing every game is important because it shows his mindset. Tatum plays every game like it’s his last, which will be important to him winning the award.
No. 3 reason Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum will win MVP: The support around him will enhance his game
The recent addition of Kristaps Porzingis and the extension of Jaylen Brown are crucial for Tatum. Porzingis and Brown will take some of the load off Tatum’s shoulders, which will allow him to be fresh in key moments.
Having two other shot-creators will allow the Celtics to be a force offensively, and Tatum will shine.
With the addition of Porzingis, it’s hard to imagine a world where Tatum doesn’t thrive.