Tatum bolsters MVP deal with dominating win over Doncic and Mavs

By | November 24, 2022

Jayson Tatum is within the high two within the NBA MVP race, and he is not quantity two.

Particularly after Wednesday night time.

Tatum not solely confronted Luka Doncic, who entered Wednesday’s sport because the overwhelming favourite to win the award, however he additionally powered the Celtics to a blowout victory over the visiting Mavericks. The famous person winger completed with a team-high 37 factors to associate with a game-high and season-high 13 rebounds, whereas recording a plus-14 within the plus/minus class in a victory of 125-112.

Doncic, in the meantime, was 13 beneath whereas compiling 42 factors, 9 assists, eight rebounds and a report 5 turnovers.

It was undoubtedly a standout efficiency that considerably boosted Tatum’s early-season MVP resume. Whereas showy stats are vital — and Tatum ticks that field each night time — they’re much more spectacular when paired with wins. That is the recipe for a successful MVP award.

After Wednesday night time, Tatum and his Celtics turned out to own a league-best 14 wins, together with a blowout one-on-one win over Doncic. You are able to do the mathematics.

Boston took him to the Mavericks from begin to end thanks largely to Tatum’s efforts. The C’s opened up a 14-point lead within the first quarter that grew to 25 factors within the second interval as Tatum scored 16 of his 37 whole factors within the interval. He virtually single-handedly turned this aggressive sport into fun, as he scored 10 factors in lower than two minutes, together with a stretch wherein he gutted a 3-pointer on Doncic after which blocked a shot on the rim, then drew a foul in transition which led to 3 free throws.

That run broke the backs and minds of Doncic and the Mavs, and Boston coasted from that time on.

There was one other spotlight available, nevertheless, and it got here courtesy of a one-on-one conflict between the 2 stars.

With simply over two minutes left within the sport, moments after Tatum scored his last two factors of the night time, Doncic pulled him off the dribble in an try to attain on the sting. Tatum had none of it, as he adopted Doncic up, bought up from behind and pushed the shot away from the backboard.

On the time, this play felt like greater than only a block on the finish of a non-competitive match. It was symbolic, like placing an exclamation mark on the finish of a sentence that stated, “I am the MVP!”

Celtics followers have been actually on board with such an concept, as they serenaded their younger star with “MVP!” chants all through the night time at any time when he stood on the free throw line.

After the match, Tatum was conscious of the significance of the match with Doncic. Whereas he did not instantly acknowledge the MVP run, Tatum was greater than prepared to confess it was a sport he was focusing on and one he wasn’t going to overlook, though it was listed as questionable all spherical. the day with a sprained left ankle.

Tatum agreed with Jaylen Brown’s assertion that Tatum was by no means going to overlook this sport, then added some further context as to why the late November sport was a bit larger than the norm.

“Yeah, I feel as a competitor, with matchups like these – in opposition to one other actually good staff, in opposition to among the best gamers within the league (it is necessary),” he stated. declared. “And particularly once we do not play them usually.”

Tatum then alluded to the truth that Dallas had swept the season sequence in opposition to Boston in every of the previous two years. He did not need this to occur once more.

As a substitute, he led the Celtics to a powerful victory on the nationwide stage, whereas leaving little doubt who the league’s MVP is heading to on Thanksgiving.