The NBA has followed CelticsBlog’s lead and named Jayson Tatum the Eastern Conference’s Player of the Week. Here’s what our Daniel Poarch wrote about him earlier today in awarding him the same title from the site after outdueling Kevin Durant for 54 points in a season-defining win against the Nets:
The Celtics turned to him every time the game threatened to get out of hand, and every time, he delivered. Trailing at halftime, he opened the third quarter with a 10-point flurry. Late in the third, with the Nets stretching a lead, he scored six points of a Celtics 8-0 run. In a one possession game in the closing minutes, it was Tatum with three straight scoring possessions to keep the Celtics ahead. He was simply everywhere.
The icing on the cake? Despite the massive usage, he turned the ball over just twice all afternoon. A bona fide masterpiece of a game, and the perfect capstone for a great week of basketball.
Celtics PR has last week’s particulars:
Tatum produced an NBA-best 41.3 points on 52.5% shooting (40.6% 3-PT, 84.4% FT), 6.3 rebounds, and 5.0 assists in three games – all wins – against Atlanta (March 1), Memphis (March 3), and Brooklyn (March 6). The fifth-year pro and three-time all-star, who celebrated his 24th birthday on March 3, scored 30+ points in all three games and tallied a season-high 54 points on 16-of-30 shooting (8-15 3-PT) in Boston’s 126-120 victory over Brooklyn on March 6.
In 62 games this season (all starts), Tatum has averaged career highs in points (26.5) and rebounds (8.2) to go along with 4.2 assists and 0.9 steals in 36.2 minutes. His 21 games of 30+ points are the most throughout any season of his NBA career.
Karl-Anthony Towns was honored in the Western Conference.