Why Jayson Tatum was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week

Tatum put together yet another dominant seven-day stretch.

Jayson Tatum
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum during the national anthem before an NBA basketball game. AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Once again, Jayson Tatum is the Eastern Conference Player of the Week — a decision that should come as little surprise given the gaudy numbers he has posted on the Celtics‘ current West Coast road trip.

Tatum has been key to the Celtics’ hot stretch, especially over the last 10 games during which he averaged 33.2 points per game and made 42 percent of his 3-pointers. Last week, he posted 29.3 points on a blistering 57.1 percent shooting from 3-point range and 93.3 percent from the free-throw line. He also pulled down 7.7 rebounds, making him one of four players to top 29 points and seven rebounds per game over that stretch, according to the Celtics.


Maybe most integral to the Celtics’ success: Teams panic when the Celtics run Tatum through pick-and-rolls, which opens up plenty of opportunities for others on the roster.

“Credit to Jayson and Jaylen continuing to be aggressive and make the right plays, but also delivering the ball to guys that can make plays as well or make shots,” Ime Udoka said on Sunday. “So it’s a combination of both, them doing what they do, but everybody else being confident and aggressive behind it.”

Tatum earned his third Player of the Week award this season and his seventh in his career. He is averaging 26.9 points per game and — particularly given the Celtics’ success — is likely a candidate for the All-NBA first or second team.

Tatum even earned MVP chants on the road in Denver on Sunday.

“It’s a great feeling,” Tatum said. “Like I said, you expect that or get that at home, but when you travel and see all the Celtics jerseys and t-shirts and hoodies, and hear them chanting for you on the road, that’s an incredible feeling.”


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