9 players taking a huge leap so far this 2022-23 NBA season

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Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of Tatum, the No. 2 player this season in our Global Rating metric also sits Top 10 in Win Shares per 48 minutes, BPM and VORP, per Basketball-Reference, as the former Duke standout has the Boston Celtics looking like the favorites to win the Eastern Conference, if not the outright championship, with his play.

Boston currently sits with a 12-3 record, first in the East, with the best net rating in the NBA at plus-7.7. That is in no small part thanks to Tatum, who has been spectacular on the year, averaging 31.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.4 blocks on a career-best 48.1 percent field-goal percentage.

It might be cliche to say, but Tatum’s 2022-23 has all of the classic makings of a superstar coming out on fire due to having a chip on their shoulder after falling just short of a championship the year prior. The fact Tatum’s play was lackluster (by his standards) in the Finals defeat to Golden State has probably only further fueled his outstanding start to the year.

One of the biggest factors to Tatum’s success has been his tougher approach to the game, attacking aggressively more often and getting to the foul stripe more than ever. Tatum is shooting a career-high 9.1 free throws this year, nearly 3.0 more than his previous career-best rate. He’s also shattering his previous career-high mark in free-throw rate, now at 0.433; his previous best mark, back in 2017-18, was 0.309.

All in all, that final step Tatum took to get to the foul line more has changed his game and made him an even bigger superstar in today’s NBA.

For the latest news and salary info on Jayson Tatum, click here.



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