It has to be that way, right? We’ve seen great players get their turn at the top of the NBA’s MVP rankings, and there’s no doubt that the numbers put up by Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic in the past three years have been impressive. But no one has been more short on voting recently than Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics.
But it may be time to put the NBA trophy back in the ring, and so far in the season, there has been no one better than Tatum. Through 14 games, Tatum is averaging 28.2 points on 50.7% shooting, with 9.0 rebounds per game and 4.1 assists. Given the Celtics’ position at the top of the league, he should be the favorite for the MVP award.
He probably won’t be there at the end of the season for a number of reasons. First, it’s started like this before but it’s also vulnerable to recessions that erode its numbers a bit. And second, voters may never give him enough credit because he plays alongside Jaylen Brown and has a star-studded supporting cast with the Boston Celtics.
That’s why Tatum was only fourth in MVP voting last year, and sixth two years ago. He received MVP votes just once again, finishing 12th.
Regardless, he is the best player on the team that leads the NBA power rankings for Week 5. Let’s go to it.
NBA Rankings for Week 5, Top 10: Boston Celtics No. 1
- Boston Celtics (11-3). The Celtics aren’t big enough to complain about a two-game losing streak, but they looked like a tired team against Charlotte on Monday. They are now 0-2 in overtime.
- Philadelphia 76ers (10-3). Good to see Kelly Oubre back in training after being hit by a car while walking. Their next six games are all against teams at or above .500.
- Oklahoma City Thunder (10-4). Usually young bands struggle on the road, but not this road. OKC is now 6-1 away from home after sweeping its last three games.
- Minnesota Timberwolves (10-3). When they move the ball, they are unstoppable. It’s 7-0 Wolves when they have 25+ assists.
- Denver Nuggets (10-4). They finally got a win on their five-game road trip, narrowly beating the heartbroken Pistons with the ejections of Nikola Jokic and Michael Malone.
- Milwaukee Bucks (10-4). He scored 130 points on 53% shooting and 41.5% three-point shooting during the W’s five-game streak.
- Sacramento Kings (8-5). Not only do the Kings sit in the top 10, but they are expected to be major buyers at the trade deadline.
- Phoenix Suns (7-6). They have averaged 134.7 points per game in their last three games. Bradley Beal (back) is out again, but the offense continues.
- Los Angeles Lakers (8-6). They have played the second-most one-possession games in the NBA, winning them 3-1. They had some luck.
- Miami Heat (9-5). Is it fool’s gold? The Heat are now 7-2 against teams below .500 and just 2-3 against teams above .500.
NBA Week 5 Rankings: Do you believe in magic?
The pile of young talent amassed by the Orlando Magic has looked particularly promising in the early part of the season, and the Magic recorded an impressive win over the Pacers in a matchup between the two Eastern Conference players on Sunday. They got the win despite dealing with the issues many predicted — injury concerns (injured Markelle Fultz and Wendell Carter often miss Magic games), woeful three-point shooting — but they play at their own pace, which is slow, and they’re sitting on few options. trading that they can use if they decide to make a breakout push. They are a team to watch.
- Orlando Magic (8-5).
- New York Knicks (8-6).
- Dallas Mavericks (9-5).
- Indiana Pacers (7-5).
- Houston Rockets (6-6).
- Cleveland Cavaliers (7-6).
- Atlanta Hawks (6-6).
- Brooklyn Nets (6-7).
- Toronto Raptors (6-7).
- New Orleans Pelicans (7-7).
Finally, the bottom: The Warriors face a stretch or a breakup
And finally, a win for the Golden State Warriors. Yes, the Dubs finally came up with a W to end their horrific six-game losing streak and keep themselves within a .500 game. But the test of this team, and whether it remains an NBA contender on par with the team that beat the Boston Celtics in the Finals just 18 months ago, will come in the next three weeks, with seven games up for grabs: two in Phoenix, three against the Clippers. Rookie, one in Sacramento and what should be a gimme against the Spurs.
- Golden State Warriors (7-8).
- Los Angeles Clippers (5-7).
- Utah Jazz (4-9).
- Chicago Bulls (5-10).
- Charlotte Hornets (4-9).
- Portland Trail Blazers (3-10).
- Memphis Grizzlies (3-10).
- San Antonio Spurs (3-11).
- Washington Wizards (2-11).
- Detroit Pistons (2-13).