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Celtics’ Jayson Tatum takes home Eastern Conference Player of the Month honors

Jayson Tatum is one of three NBA players averaging 25 points while shooting at least 49 percent from the field and 36 percent on 3-pointers.Danielle Parhizkaran/Globe Staff

INDIANAPOLIS — Celtics forward Jayson Tatum on Monday was named the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Month for October/November. It’s his third time receiving the honor, third-most in franchise history, trailing only Paul Pierce (four) and Larry Bird (seven).

Coach Joe Mazzulla said he was pleased that Tatum received the honor, because he believes he tends to be underappreciated because he plays on such a successful team that includes so many talented players.

“You see guys in other situations where kind of the entire roster, the entire team is set up for their individual success,” Mazzulla said. “Whereas he does a great job of balancing both, where he can get you 28 [points], 8 [rebounds], and 5 [assists]. And he can also be a team player. And so I think that’s really hard to do and I don’t think he gets enough credit for balancing both sides of that coin.”

Tatum guided the Celtics to a 14-4 mark, the best in the NBA, including an 8-0 record at home. Entering Monday night’s In-Season Tournament quarterfinal against the Pacers, Tatum was averaging 27.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 4.1 assists. He leads all players with a plus-168 plus/minus.


“He’s one of the best players on the best team in the league year in and year out,” Mazzulla said. “And I think he should be more in the conversation throughout the entire season for Most Valuable Player because the value that he brings by being a superstar and at the same time being a great teammate, I think, is something that’s really hard to balance, and he does great at it.”

Porzingis remains out

Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis missed Monday’s 122-112 road loss to the Pacers, his fourth consecutive absence due to a calf strain. But he appears to be inching closer to a return. Mazzulla said Porzingis has completed shooting drills, but has yet to progress to full-court basketball workouts.


“I think [on Tuesday] he’ll get on the court again, the next two days, and see how he responds and we’ll likely make a decision in a few days,” Mazzulla said. “I know he’s got a couple workouts coming up in the next few days.”

Porzingis suffered the injury during Boston’s Nov. 24 loss to the Magic. The Celtics are 3-1 without him.

Court correction

There have been complaints from players about the quality and slipperiness of the customized courts used for In-Season Tournament. Celtics forward Jaylen Brown, for one, slipped several times during Boston’s Nov. 17 win in Toronto and injured his groin during a spill in the final seconds.

The Pacers had some issues with their In-Season Tournament court while hosting the Cavaliers Nov. 3, but the floor was then refinished prior to the Nov. 24 game against the Pistons.

“Last game against Detroit, the court was perfect,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “It’s one of these things where you get into these kinds of things you get different courts, I think there’s two different suppliers, but when you have great people like we do they find a way to get it right.”

Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at adam.himmelsbach@globe.com. Follow him @adamhimmelsbach.