Has Jayson Tatum’s clutch-time struggles ended his MVP case?

The Boston Celtics have struggled in crunch-time situations this season. Joe Mazzulla has consistently gone to Jayson Tatum in late-game moments, as you would expect, given his status as Boston’s clear-cut best player. However, Tatum has struggled to make the most of those opportunities and has amassed a poor record of success.

In a recent episode of ESPN’s “First Take”, veteran anchor Stephen A. Smith has questioned Tatum’s clutch performances, noting that his struggles are not what you would expect from an MVP candidate. He also postulated sliding Jaylen Brown into the “closing” role for the Celtics, given his aggressive style of play when looking to score.

This season, Tatum has emerged as a complete player. Rather than consistently looking to score, he’s embracing a more diverse role. He’s creating for others, he’s defending, he’s rebounding, and most importantly, he’s allowing his offense to come within the flow of the game.

Nevertheless, scoring in the clutch is about taking over and playing aggressively. Tatum must tap into that part of his game if he wants to be an effective weapon once the postseason begins.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire