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Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics.

Getty Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics.

The Boston Celtics took down the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the NBA Playoffs and will now face off against the Milwaukee Bucks in Round 2. Their series against the Nets may have only taken four games, but it was one of the closest sweeps in recent memory. And just because it ended in a sweep doesn’t mean the games weren’t entertaining.

Boston’s tilt against Brooklyn wasn’t the only fun series around the league, though. While none of the first-round matchups ended up going seven games, plenty of them were entertaining. The Minnesota Timberwolves and Memphis Grizzlies kept things close, the Toronto Raptors made things interesting against the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Dallas Mavericks stood tall over the Utah Jazz even without Luka Doncic.

With so many great series in the first round, there was no shortage of incredible individual performances. Jordan Poole exploded for the Golden State Warriors, Jalen Brunson led the Doncic-less Mavericks to two wins, and Giannis Antetokounmpo did things only he can do.

After all of the first-round series were over, Bleacher Report ranked all of the top performers into the 2022 NBA Playoff MVP Rankings. And even with so much competition fighting for the ten available spots, Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum managed to earn himself a spot on the list.

Tatum Ranked in Top 10 for Postseason Award

Dan Favale of Bleacher Report compiled a list of the top 10 playoff performers so far in what ended up being his playoff MVP rankings. And after an amazing series against the Nets, Tatum found himself ranked atop the list at number one.

He beat out names like Antetokounmpo, Jimmy Butler, and Chris Paul, who finished second, third, and fourth respectively. Also included on the list was Stephen Curry, Nikola Jokic, Brandon Ingram, Brunson, Joel Embiid, and Desmond Bane.

Favale went on to list a bunch of Tatum’s stats from the first round, explaining why they were so phenomenal. Most importantly, he closed with the fact that Tatum was faced with the task of locking down Kevin Durant for the majority of the series:

And on top of all that, only Al Horford tallied more partial possessions guarding the superdupermega star that is Kevin Durant. Sticklers can bemoan Tatum fouling out before the end of Game 4. Just know that I don’t care. Tatum is shouldering a monstrous workload, at both ends, for what just might be the Eastern Conference favorite.

In addition to all the stats, Favale also hinted at the fact that Tatum could be inching closer to being one of the league’s top 10 players.

Tatum Almost a Top 10 NBA Player

In the introduction to his section on Tatum, Favale made a bold claim regarding where Tatum stands in relation to the rest of the league’s superstars. He stated that Tatum’s postseason performance is vaulting him closer a spot in the top 10 NBA players:

Jayson Tatum spearheaded the Boston Celtics’ sweep of the Brooklyn Nets by showcasing pretty much everything that has vaulted him into the top-10-player conversation this season.

So far in the playoffs, Tatum has averaged 29.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 7.3 assists while shooting 45.6 percent from the field and 41.9 percent from behind the three-point line. He also averaged 1.8 steals and 0.8 blocks a night, proving his worth on the defensive side of the floor.

The Celtics’ playoffs have just gotten started, and with the reigning champs waiting for them in the second round, nothing is going to be easy. But if Tatum can continue to play at the level he has, he should be able to keep his spot at the playoff MVP.

Source: Heavy

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