Boston point guard Isaiah Thomas has turned some heads with his play as of late. Since coming to Boston, he’s been nothing short of a superstar for this team. He got traded to a team that was struggling to make the playoffs and in “rebuilding mode.” The Celtics were 20-31 when they traded for Thomas last season, and finished the season 40-42, making the playoffs. Altogether the Celtics are 62-41 since acquiring Thomas.
When Thomas first came to Boston, he continued to be a sixth man like he was in Phoenix. He backed up first-year point guard Marcus Smart at the time. He averaged 19 points and 5.4 assists for the C’s during their late-season playoff run off the bench. He was nothing short of a game-changer for this team. He gave them much needed scoring and firepower off the bench.
Fast forward to now, where the Celtics currently sit with a record of 43-30, good enough for 4th in the Eastern Conference and half a game behind the Atlanta Hawks for 3rd. Isaiah has thrived in his starting role with the Celtics this season, averaging 22.2 points, 6.4 assists, and 3 rebounds per game (all career highs).
At 5’9, you wonder how the hell he does what he does. If you ever watch a Celtics game and just watch how he plays you’d be amazed. If that’s what a 5’9 player can do who knows how to dominate of a player he’d be if he were a few inches taller. He can finish in the paint like no other and can shoot the three when needed to.
A lot of people look at Isaiah and say he isn’t a star in this league. You can argue that, but for the Celtics, he is a star and is playing like one at this moment. In the month of March, Thomas is playing at a “Curry-like” level. He’s averaging 26.2 points on 17.7 shot attempts while shooting 47.7 percent from the field with a PER of 27.3. Steph Curry has been posting numbers of 27.6 points on 20.7 shot attempts while shooting 47.2 percent from the field with a PER of 27.9. Pretty similar numbers I must say.
One of the reasons for Isaiah’s hot streak may be due to the fact that starting Celtics’ small forward Jae Crowder went down with an injury recently. Crowder’s 14.4 points per game had to be replenished somehow, so Isaiah took over. Going off of that, Thomas has scored 20+ points in 12 straight contests, longest such streak in the league only behind Kevin Durant (58). This is the longest such streak for a Celtic since 2006 when Paul Pierce had 16 straight 20+ point games. He’s averaging more points in the paint (10.9) in the month of March than big men Hassan Whiteside, Anthony Davis, and Dwight Howard. He’s also sixth in the league for points per game in the month of March with 26.2, and ranks second in field goal percentage with 47.7 percent, again, only behind Kevin Durant.
Isaiah Thomas’s hot run during the month of March couldn’t have come at a better time, where the playoff race is heating up in the East with Atlanta, Boston, Miami, and Charlotte all competing for the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th seeds. Jae Crowder’s absence fills a big hole for the C’s offensively and even bigger defensively, but Isaiah is helping out with the offensive side of things.
Now looking at Isaiah’s stats do you still think he isn’t a star? A first-year All-Star and standing at 5’9, I’d say he is a star. He’s putting up crazy numbers this month and career highs all around the board this season with Boston. It’s not like he’s putting up these numbers because he’s on a bad team and has to do it all. Sure he has to contribute to this C’s team and is probably their best player, but this is a good team. Everybody on this Celtics team has a role and plays it well. Isaiah Thomas is the glue that keeps this team together. Without him, they wouldn’t be in the winning position they are in right now. And that’s what makes somebody a star in this league in my opinion. Isaiah Thomas is Boston’s littlest star.