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Celtics PRIDE podcast: Jayson Tatum is an MVP candidate and revisiting criticism of Ime Udoka

A week after Ime Udoka won Coach of the Month honors, Jayson Tatum earned the Eastern Conference Player of the Week award.

Boston Celtics v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

In the latest episode of the Celtics PRIDE Podcast, Adam and Mike revel in the Celtics’ “proved it” 3-0 week against the Hawks, Grizzlies, and Nets. With the Celtics putting the league on notice–if they hadn’t already–on the backs of Jayson Tatum’s stellar play and Coach of the Month Ime Udoka’s impressive job steering the team’s turnaround, the Pride Guys take a closer look at just what is going on.

First, Mike pleads his case for Jayson Tatum to enter the MVP conversation after watching him go toe-to-toe with Ja Morant and Kevin Durant… and come out clearly ahead each time. No, Mike doesn’t believe Tatum should *win* the MVP. But, top-5? There just might be something there. Mike lays out his argument for why – after Giannis, Jokic, and Embiid – there’s nobody clearly more deserving of an MVP vote than Jayson Tatum this season based on his improved play, how the advanced stats portray his body of work, and some subtle but noteworthy off-the-court signs of growth, leadership, and maturity.Adam doesn’t think Mike is *necessarily* crazy by the end of it.

Mike and Adam then transition to discuss Ime Udoka’s imprint on the team – both in their most recent high-level play, and his deserved credit for the overall turnaround the team has experienced over the course of the season. They note how Udoka helped the team shake free from too often getting punked by the opposition in the beginning of the season to now having their chests puffed out and proving their mettle on a nightly basis. Then they discuss whether *any* of the criticism levied toward Udoka earlier in the year was fair: rotations and lineup choices; game management; any of it? While Adam and Mike easily rebuke the way-too-premature ‘Fire Ime’ crowd, they have more thoughts about whether or what from Ime’s first few months may have been fair to criticize – if anything at all.

Finally, the guys look to the standings and the C’s upcoming games to gauge where they see the team ending up – with a finish between 3rd and 5th place looking increasingly likely. With games against Charlotte, Detroit, and Dallas coming up this week, Adam and Mike are riding the wave of positive momentum hoping for more strong play ahead and the guys are both feeling full of Celtics Pride.

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Hosts: Adam Motenko, Josh Motenko (@coachmotenko) and Mike Minkoff (@mikeminkoffnba)

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About Celtics PRIDE Podcast: Co-Hosts Adam Motenko, his identical twin brother Josh Motenko, and their friend Mike Minkoff couldn’t stop talking about the team. Now they supply your need for Boston Celtics content with their regular podcast on CelticsBlog.

They will talk nerdy to you, dissect the players on and off the court, and bicker like only opinionated New Englanders can. It’s like if CelticsBlog made a BasketballJones / Dunc’dOn lovechild.

You will get the coach’s perspective, the capologist’s view, and a healthy dose of advanced and traditional stats that breakdown everything that happened and could happen with the #1 dynasty in the NBA. If you often find yourself reminiscing about the players you grew up watching, or you just need reminders about what “being a Celtic” means to you, this is the podcast for you. This is Celtics PRIDE!

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