Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Jayson Tatum is having the best start to a season in his career this season.
The Boston Celtics star forward in past campaigns typically would start by struggling to shoot the ball, but progressively each month get better and better. Rather than starting slow and building up, Tatum has exploded on the scene to open the 2022-23 campaign for the Celtics.
Through 13 games, Boston sits in second place in the Eastern Conference with an impressive 10-3 record — the second-best record in the NBA overall — and the biggest reason for the team's success certainly has been Tatum.
Boston has dealt with injuries to open the season with the biggest being Robert Williams, but also has been without the services of Al Horford, Malcolm Brogdon, and Jaylen Brown and different points but throughout the season but Boston hasn't skipped a beat. Only one of Boston's losses has come in regulation as two of the team's three losses came in overtime to a very formidable Cleveland Cavaliers team.
Tatum has taken another massive jump to open the season and through 13 games firmly has placed himself in the MVP conversation by leading the squad and sporting career-highs in points (32.3), blocks (1.3), two-point percentage (59.6%), free throw percentage (87.2%), free throw attempts (9.0), and overall field goal percentage (50.0%).
His efficiency out of the gate has made a world of a difference for the Celtics. The Celtics took on the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night in what easily could have been a trap game. It was the second night of a back-to-back and Boston was without the services of Brown, Horford, and Brogdon but still was able to gut out its sixth-straight win thanks to an explosive 43-point performance from Tatum.
After the game he spoke about how he's felt to open the season and it should scare opposing teams.
"This is definitely the best I've ever felt to start a season," Tatum said as seen on NBC Sports Boston. "It kind of feels like how I felt like I was playing towards the end of last season when we really went on that run in the playoffs. It feels great to start a season like this because I definitely know what it feels like to be on the other side being .500 and struggling to shoot the ball. The way we're playing, it's fun. It feels good to win."
Tatum is proving that he likely will be in the MVP conversation when the regular season comes to an end, but if he continues to play the way he has and the Celtics continue to shine, he may actually have a chance to take home the hardware.
This is just an indication of how strong of a player he is. Boston moves as he moves. It's not surprising that as he is in the middle of his best stretch to open a new season, the Celtics have jumped out to such a great start.
We certainly will be hearing much more about the 24-year-old as the season continues.
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