Celtics' Jayson Tatum Named Eastern Conference Finals MVP in B/R App Poll

Erin WalshMay 30, 2022

MIAMI, FL - MAY 29: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics celebrates with the Larry Bird Eastern Conference Finals MVP award after Game 7 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals on May 29, 2022 at the FTX Arena in Miami, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE  (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

In just his fifth NBA season, Jayson Tatum has led the Boston Celtics to their first NBA Finals appearance since 2010, only adding to what has been an impressive young career for the budding superstar. 

Tatum was awarded the inaugural Larry Bird Eastern Conference Finals MVP award on Sunday after leading the Celtics to a 100-96 Game 7 win over the Miami Heat, but do fans think he deserved to take home the honor?

It certainly seems so. 

In a poll on the Bleacher Report app, fans picked Tatum as the MVP of the Eastern Conference Finals, beating out Jaylen Brown, Jimmy Butler and some of the other impact players in the series, such as Bam Adebayo and Al Horford. 

Tatum received 54 percent of the vote, while Butler received 37 percent and Brown received 7 percent. Nearly 14,000 fans participated in the poll. 

Tatum has played well throughout Boston's run to the NBA Finals and played a significant role in the Eastern Conference Finals against Miami, averaging 25.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.1 steals in seven games.

In Game 7, he finished with 26 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in 46 minutes. He had at least 22 points in six of Boston's seven conference finals games against Miami, with his only poor performance coming in a 10-point outing in a Game 3 loss. 

The 24-year-old has really elevated his game over the last three seasons and is becoming more and more of a complete player as the days go by. 

That said, Butler was also as effective for Miami as Tatum was for Boston, averaging 25.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.0 steals per game in the conference finals. The 32-year-old also had two 40-plus-point games, though he wasn't as consistent as Tatum.

In a Game 3 win over Boston, Butler had just eight points, though he did leave that game early with knee inflammation. However, he followed that up with just six points in Game 4 and 13 points in Game 5, which were both losses for the Heat. 

Butler finished Game 7 with 35 points, nine rebounds, one assist and one steal, but he was criticized for missing a potential go-ahead three pointer with under 17 seconds to play. He shot just 23.3 percent from three in the regular season. 

Moving on to Brown, he was also responsible for much of Boston's success in the conference finals, averaging 24.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. However, he didn't have a chance to win ECF MVP with both Tatum and Butler on the floor.