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Jayson Tatum has been named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the second time this month.
The NBA announced his recognition Monday afternoon following a week during which he averaged 29.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists in three road games – all Celtics wins. During those games played at Golden State, Sacramento and Denver, the 24-year-old shot 59.2 percent from the field, 57.1 percent from 3-point range, and 93.3 percent from the free-throw line.
The fifth-year wing also won the award after the first week of March, when he compiled 41.3 PPG, 6.3 RPG, and 5.0 APG, while shooting 52.5 percent from the field and 40.6 percent from 3-point range.
For Tatum, it is his third such honor of the season, making it the second consecutive season during which he has been named Player of the Week three times. Larry Bird and Kevin Garnett are the only other players in franchise history who have won it three times during the same season.
As for Boston players who have won it twice in the same month, the list is even shorter. Paul Pierce had been the only other Celtic to do so, accomplishing the feat twice in December of 2007.
With one week left in March, Tatum has a chance to make Celtics history – if he were to win it a third time. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take a look back at the incredible week he just put together.
3/16 at Golden State
Tatum started off the week with his 21st double-double of the season Wednesday night, logging team highs of 26 points and 12 rebounds during a 110-88 win over the Golden State Warriors. Although he shot below 40 percent both from the field and 3-point range, it was one of Tatum’s best free-throw-shooting performances of the season. He attacked the rim relentlessly, which helped him to earn 12 trips to the free-throw line; he made 11 of those attempts, which tied his second-most makes of the season. Tatum also dished out four assists, snagged one steal, and was a plus-17 during 37 minutes of action. Entering the night, Golden State had the best home record in the entire NBA at 29-7, but Tatum and Co. had no trouble at all blowing them out at Chase Center.
3/18 at Sacramento
The middle game of the week was one of the most efficient, high-volume scoring games of Tatum’s entire career. During a 126-97 beatdown against the Sacramento Kings on Friday night, he dropped a game-high 32 points on 12-of-16 shooting from the field, including a 7-of-10 clip from 3-point range. It marked the first time in Tatum’s career that he scored 30-plus points on at least 70 percent shooting both from the field and from long range. Tatum also corralled five rebounds, handed out four assists, and turned the ball over just twice during 34 minutes of action at Golden 1 Center.
3/20 at Denver
It’s not unusual to hear “MVP” chants inside Ball Arena, but it is unusual when they are not being directed toward reigning league MVP Nikola Jokic. On Sunday night, those words were raining down upon Tatum in the Mile High City, as he and the Celtics handed the Nuggets a 124-104 hammering. Tatum tied fellow Player of the Week nominee Jaylen Brown in the scoring column with 30 points, marking the second straight game during which the duo reached that mark. Tatum delivered another remarkable shooting performance, knocking down 11-of-17 from the field, including 6-of-10 from beyond the arc. He also corralled six rebounds and tied Marcus Smart for the game high in assists with seven, all during just 33 minutes of action. Tatum finished the night with a plus-22 and wrapped up the week with a plus-79 over 104 total minutes.