Jayson Tatum’s impressive stretch for the Boston Celtics earned him Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors, the league announced on Monday afternoon.
Tatum’s award puts him in impressive company. He is the first Celtic to win Player of the Week three times in a season since Kevin Garnett, according to the Celtics, and he recorded at least 30 points and five assists while shooting at least 50 percent from the field in each of the Celtics’ last three games. The last Celtics player to do that was Larry Bird in 1987-88.
Tatum might have a case for other accolades as well based on his performance in April — a breakout stretch after he struggled at times in February and March with lingering symptoms from his bout with COVID-19.
Jayson Tatum's post-COVID monthly splits:
Feb. – 24.0 PPG (51.6 TS%), 6.9 RPG, 5.0 APG
March – 25.3 PPG (58.5 TS%), 6.7 RPG, 4.5 APG
April – 29.7 PPG (62.0 TS%), 9.1 RPG, 4.5 APG
— Taylor Snow (@taylorcsnow) May 3, 2021
Tatum also topped 50 points twice in April and became the only other Celtics player besides Bird to score 60 when he helped the Celtics overcome a 32-point deficit to the San Antonio Spurs last week.
“Obviously when you’re mentioned with a top 10 player of all time, in any stat, obviously that’s a good thing,” Tatum said last week, when asked about matching Bird’s Celtics record. “Something I wouldn’t have imagined at this age. I just come out and play the game that I love and I play at a high level. But once you sit back after the game and think about what it means — Larry Bird, just to be up there, us two, and all the players that came before you to put on this uniform — yes, it’s a big deal. I’m grateful for the position that I’m in. Hard to put into words, but that’s how I feel.”
For the season, Tatum is averaging 26.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game, which are all career highs.
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