Following their playoff loss to the Golden State Warriors last year, Jayson Tatum and Luka Doncic entered the game between the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night as two of the early favourites to win the 2022–23 MVP award.
And sure enough, Tatum and Doncic showed up to participate. The two all-star players squared off, with Tatum scoring 37 points and grabbing 13 rebounds to help the Celtics win 125-112, and Doncic giving it his all with 42 points, eight rebounds, and nine assists in a losing cause.
Due to the constant arguments about whose legacy is more secure or who, simply, has a greater impact on the court, brilliance appears to be a zero-sum game, as is the case with modern sports discourse. Due to the competition between two of the league’s finest players, there was a heated discussion on NBA Twitter about whether, Jayson Tatum or Luka Doncic, was more deserving of the MVP award.
Some supporters, who are undoubtedly still celebrating the Celtics’ triumph, think Tatum is better than Doncic because of his ability to have an impact on the game from both ends. Additionally, they discussed how Doncic controls what appears to be a more heliocentric Mavs offence in contrast to Tatum’s aptitude for blending in with a more egalitarian assault.
Luka plays zero defense, wouldn’t swap him for Tatum in a million years homie. Enjoy your L’s.
— billary (@iambillary) November 24, 2022
Tatum is just a better all around player. Does more for his team. That s why we have a better record than Luka I m going to Jack up insane final shots Doncic and the Mavs
— Jared Zero (@JaredZero_NBA) November 24, 2022
as long as defense exists tatum will always be ahead of luka sadly
— vonte (@purplepricetag) November 24, 2022
I’ll say this: I’ll take Tatum over luka any day. Luka is amazing. But Tatum can get 35 8 8 and also let his teammates get 20-30 a game. Celts have a team and dallas has a guy.
— Theryeguy (@Runner110988) November 24, 2022
Luka is probably an overall better offensive player than Tatum but the defensive gap between them is so big that Tatum is better than Luka
— Le5-6 (@deepyy_) November 24, 2022
While this was going on, other supporters swiftly defended Luka Doncic, claiming that the only thing Jayson Tatum has over him is a stronger supporting cast. In light of the fact that the Mavs’ offence collapses without their Slovenian magician, some have suggested that Doncic is, by extension, more important to his team than Tatum.
I mean Luka is more valuable to the mavericks than Tatum is to the Celtics
— ClainStencen (@Shakeblade09) November 24, 2022
which is why luka is way better than tatum, if he had a decent team he’d become tatum’s father
— wishy wiz (@TOrangeguy) November 24, 2022
They keep saying Tatum and Brown got 68 together. Well so did Luka and C-Wood. The rest of the team sucked.
— Far west Mavs fan (@paul_furgerson) November 24, 2022
If anything this game just proved Luka MVP over Tatum. What would this game have looked like without him
— All.Time.Mavs (@MavsTime) November 24, 2022
At least one fan was able to distinguish between the two. Given how interesting it may be to argue the merits of what makes one player more important than another, one user voiced his respect for both Doncic and Tatum’s greatness. Despite this, it was a healthy point of view.
I agree Tatum is #1 MVP like that s not biased and I m one of the most unbiased people on this app. Luka is great, Tatum is Great and I m happy they will lead this league together for a long time
— zach (@OopToRob) November 24, 2022
Jayson Tatum has posted 30.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game this season, while Luka Doncic has averaged 34.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 8.1 assists per game. Both players should have at least one MVP award in their careers, in my opinion.
At the end of the day, both fan bases will concur that Jayson Tatum and Luka Doncic, who will lead their respective teams to great heights, have put the Celtics and Mavs in a strong position to fight for years to come.