In Wednesday's 134-121 win over the Heat, Jayson Tatum erupted for 49 points, shredding Miami's zone defense. Had the Celtics' star entered the fourth quarter earlier than the 6:17 mark, he likely would've finished with more than 50.
Regardless, it was a performance that bolstered his MVP case. And after guiding Boston to the NBA's best record at 18-4 while averaging 31.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per contest, Tatum's earned Eastern Conference Player of the Month honors for his performance in games played in October and November.
SI Sportsbook gives Tatum the third-best MVP odds at +300. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic are the front runners at +275 odds.
But between Tatum's production, the Celtics' success, and his durability, playing in 21 of Boston's 22 games, there are plenty of reasons to argue he's the leading candidate for the award.
Also, with Tatum earning Eastern Conference Player of the Month and Joe Mazzulla taking home Eastern Conference Coach of the Month honors, they became the franchise's first player and coach combination to do so since Larry Bird and K.C. Jones in 1986.