After last night’s win over the Detroit Pistons, the Celtics find themselves in sole possession of the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference. They’re a full game ahead of the Toronto Raptors and 2.5 games behind the 1 seed Cleveland Cavaliers. The reason being? Easy. Isaiah Thomas. What else is there to say about Isaiah Thomas? He’s unbelievable to watch and just seeing what he does on the court will make your jaw drop. What Isaiah has done for this team, not only this season but since he’s arrived in Boston, is incredible.
Coming to Boston, he had a chip on his shoulder. This would be his third team he’s played for in his short career. The previous two teams he’s played for, Sacramento and Phoenix, didn’t want him. Sacramento refused to pay his a measly $6M a year, and Phoenix had too many guards, so traded him to Boston for scraps. He finally got a real chance to prove why he shouldn’t have been picked last in the draft. Isaiah found a team that wanted him and Boston found the player they needed. And as they say, the rest is history.
Fast forward to 2017 and Isaiah Thomas is the second highest scorer in the NBA averaging 29.4 points per game, only behind triple-double monster Russell Westbrook. He’s dishing out 6.4 assists per game and is on the verge of having a 50/40/90 season. He’s on his way to his second straight All-Star game, which he arguably should be starting in. But the best stat of all… hold on… wait for it… He’s averaging 10.3 points alone in the fourth quarter. King of the Fourth am I right? He’s had four 20-point fourth quarters this season, while the rest of the NBA has seven combined. A 5’9 player shouldn’t be allowed to do that.
If that doesn’t impress you, then let’s look at his stats for this past month of January, which, spoiler alert, has been pretty good for him. He averaged 32.9 points per game, which is the fourth-best scoring month is Celtics history.
Injuries to Avery Bradley, Al Horford, and others throughout the past month has allowed Isaiah to go off like he did. Although you can say that he only scored that much because the Celtics had key injuries throughout the month, he still led the Celtics to the 2 seed in the East. Without arguably our second best player in Avery Bradley, who averages 17.7 points per game, Isaiah has had to carry more of the scoring load. Other guys have stepped up, like promising rookie Jaylen Brown, but Isaiah has put in work and has led this team to where they are now. If Isaiah weren’t on this team, they’d be doomed, especially with all the bad luck with injuries. The Celtics would be an average team at best.
That’s what makes Isaiah Thomas a legit MVP candidate. An MVP is someone that turns an average team to one of the best in the league. In the NBA you try to win games. Isaiah’s value to this team when it comes to winning is just as valuable as any player in the NBA. Why is James Harden a top MVP candidate? He’s the reason for the Houston Rockets’ success. He creates points for his team and is helping them win more games than people could have imagined. The Celtics were projected to win a good amount of games this year, but if Isaiah weren’t on the Celtics, they would’ve been projected to win jack. Isaiah is creating 44.4 points per game for the Celtics.
Defense is the only real downside for Isaiah, but come on, he’s 5’9. Give the guy a break. Basketball is a two-way game. He makes up for his not-so-good defense with his pretty-damn-good offense.
At the end of the day, Isaiah’s name deserves to be up there with the other superstars of the league when it comes to MVP voting. James Harden and Russell Westbrook are right up top, but Isaiah isn’t too far behind. Charles Barkley even said he believes the two-time All-Star is third in the MVP running right now.
The MVP award is awarded to a player that is most valuable to their team. If you can’t say that Isaiah Thomas isn’t one of the most valuable players in the league, rethink that thought. Without Isaiah, the Celtics wouldn’t be nearly as successful as they are now. It’s all about winning in the NBA, and the Celtics are doing a lot of that because of one man, the King of the Fourth, Isaiah Thomas. Pick him last again, please.