The NBA season is less than two weeks away. BetOnline has begun releasing regular season award odds for the 2021 season. The main player prop to look at before any season is of course the league’s Most Valuable Player.
Entering Opening Night, the favorite for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player will be Luka Doncic (+325). Giannis Antetokounmpo (+500), Stephen Curry (+800), LeBron James (+900), and Anthony Davis (+900) round out the top 5.
Every year you have your clear cut favorites for the MVP award. Most of the time those guys are usually there and in the running come the end of the season. Every now and then you have a guy sneak in and crash the party to make the race interesting. Whether it be Steph Curry putting everything together in 2014-2015 en route to an MVP season. Go back to Isaiah Thomas creating magic to get Top 5 MVP consideration in 2016-2017. There’s sometimes just that one guy.
Coming off a career year that saw him garner his first All-NBA honors, Jayson Tatum is primed to take that next leap. Last season saw Tatum get selected to his first All-Star Game. While some guys might take their foot of the pedal after receiving some mid season accolades. Tatum didn’t, he responded by scorching the rest of the NBA for the rest of the season
After the All-Star break Tatum averaged over 27 points a night over the last few months of the NBA season. Tatum lead the Celtics to the Conference Finals where they fell short against the Miami Heat.
Tatum’s 2020 season showcased why Celtics fans have been so obnoxiously high on the kid since draft day. He’s put together a ridiculous offensive arsenal in his first three years in the league. all while becoming a high caliber player on the defensive side of the ball. Tatum got to the door step of super stardom in 2020. He’s looking to kick the door down in 2021.
Brad Stevens is going to look to Tatum to shoulder the workload early as Kemba Walker nurses a knee injury. Tatum flourished with Walker out in the weaks leading to the league shutdown. Tatum embraced the increase workload and made the best of it for himself and his team. Once again he is going to be allowed the opportunity to not only be this team’s primary scorer and playmaker.
Last season the Celtics had Gordon Hayward to be the facilitator at the wing position. With Hayward in Charlotte, Tatum and Jaylen Brown will shoulder that responsibility.
Tatum struggled against double teams traps early in the season last year. As the focus of defenses began shifting to Tatum, he began to figure things out on the fly allowing him to make plays for his teammates.
He took the offseason to improve that facet of his game even more.
The Celtics are going to allow Tatum every possible outlet to become a Top 5 player in this league. If he can maintain his scoring while making opponents pay for being aggressive on him. There’s no reason he won’t put up the numbers needed to be in the MVP conversation.
Some might say it’s too early to start having these conversations about Jayson Tatum. Is it really? This is his fourth season in the NBA. Tatum’s gotten better every season of his career. He’s the best player on a championship contender. We watch him on a nightly basis blossom into one of the best two way players the NBA has to offer.
The skies the limit for this kid. We will see Tatum cement himself into the MVP conversation come the midway point of the season. Jayson Tatum +2200 to win MVP may have sneaky value.
Continue to follow along at BetOnline all season as they give out lines for any and everything NBA.
My Name is a David Barr, I am a social media manager for the site. I was born in Massachusetts in the mid-90’s so I’ve had the pleasure of being a fan of winning teams for much of my life. I’ve been spoiled by greatness all these years but yet I’m a miserable cynic about my favorite teams. I was originally brought on the site as a Celtics writer, and I’ll continue to produce NBA pieces despite my social media responsibilities. So look out for my work on the site, and on our various social media accounts.