NBA MVP Ladder: 1 clear, yet surprising, favorite as the end of the season arrives

With the end of the regular season on the horizon, there's 1 clear NBA MVP leader.

Milwaukee Bucks v Atlanta Hawks
Milwaukee Bucks v Atlanta Hawks / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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3. Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Heading into the season, with the acquisitions of Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday, the belief was that the Boston Celtics would quickly emerge as a dominant force in the Eastern Conference. And that's exactly what's happened this season. Heading into the NBA Playoffs, the Celtics are going to be the overwhelming favorites to not only win the Eastern Conference but to also win the 2024 NBA Championship as a whole.

When you account for volume, there's an argument to be made that Jayson Tatum is having the best season of his career. Averaging 27 points, eight rebounds, and five assists on 47 percent shooting from the field and 38 percent shooting from 3-point range, Tatum is the straw that stirs the Celtics' historically good offense.

If the Celtics are going to finish the job and win a championship this season, it will be on the continued contributions of Tatum. But because of how much talent the Celtics have on their roster, Tatum isn't going to get enough votes to win the NBA MVP award this season. There may be one in his future, but not this year.