Mavericks: Is Luka Doncic the favorite to win Most Improved Player?

Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks Jayson Tatum (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

2. Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Jayson Tatum underwent a massive third-year breakout. Kyrie Irving left in free agency along with Al Horford, and the Celtics added Kemba Walker. Most assumed the four-time All-Star point guard would lead Boston in scoring this season, but Tatum stepped up to fill that void. He upped his points per game by 7.9.

The 22-year-old increased his shot volume and efficiency. He ditched a lot of the mid-range jumpers for 3-pointers. He is taking 3.2 more threes per game this season. Tatum also increased his 3-point percentage to 39.8.

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Those are not the only improvements, though. Tatum was upped his stat line virtually across the board. He is a stout defender and the leading scorer for the Celtics. Tatum averages 23.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.4 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game this season.

He was playing his best basketball just before the suspension too. Over his final 15 games, Tatum averaged 29.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.1 blocks while shooting 48.3 percent from the field and 46.6 percent on his 3-pointers.

Jayson Tatum made his first All-Star team and became the Celtics building block. He has not quite reached that MVP level, but it was a massive leap from the 22-year-old.

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