BOSTON (CBS) — Jayson Tatum has some bulletin board material to bring into the NBA Playoffs. Despite earning three Player of the Week awards in March, the Celtics star did not bring home the NBA’s final Player of the Month award of the 2021-22 season.

Tatum had a March for the ages, averaging 32.8 points per game while leading Boston to an 11-2 record over his 13 contests. He scored 30 or more points nine times last month, including a three-game stretch where he averaged 45 points per game in wins over the Grizzlies, Nets and Hornets, highlighted by his 54-point explosion against Brooklyn,

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Alas, the final Player of the Month award wasn’t just for March, and included the first two weeks of April as well. Tatum only averaged 25 points per game over his final four appearances of the season, and the Player of the Month award went to someone else.

That someone else is at least pretty great too, with Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo earning the honor after he averaged 31.5 points, 12.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists over a 20-game stretch, leading the Bucks to a 14-6 record. That included a 127-120 win over the Celtics, where Giannis had 29 points and 11 rebounds while Tatum sat out the contest.

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Still, it’s hard to argue against Tatum given his absurd stretch in March, when he had .538/.447/.905 shooting splits and averaged 6.6 rebounds and 4.9 assists. It would have been the second Player of the Month award of his career, joining his one he took home in February of the 2019-20 season.

But it wasn’t meant to be for Tatum, who can now add a little more fuel to his fire as the Celtics gear up for the first round of the NBA playoffs. At least his head coach, Ime Udoka, was named the East’s Coach of the Month thanks to Boston’s 15-4 record to close the regular season.

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CBSBoston.com Staff