Isaiah Thomas has been a man on a mission these last few games, as he has seemingly carried the Celtics to the second round of the playoffs and a two game lead against the Washington Wizards.
Thomas, who scored a historic 53 points in the Celtics victory in Game Two, has credited his sister for being his inspiration in the playoffs, as well as a surprising mentor in the form of former Laker Legend Kobe Bryant.
Bryant was known for being a ferocious competitor, and the death of Isaiah’s sister (Chyna Thomas) has certainly ignited a fire under the little guy, to the point where he scored the second most points in a playoff game in Celtics history. With that being said, I think it’s about time people gave Isaiah the recognition he deserves, not only for being a fantastic player, but also a fierce competitor.
Growing up watching guys like Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett spoiled me as a Celtics fan, but it also gave me a great look at what superstars and legends look like, and Isaiah is beginning to look the part.
No, it’s not just because he scored the amount of points he did. It’s the way he scored them that has impressed not only me, but numerous players around the league, even former Celtic legend Kevin Garnett.
Isaiah has begun to understand that winning takes effort, sacrifice, and things he had never considered before, and this has elevated his game to new heights.
Here’s a quick highlight video of Isaiah’s dominance, in case you wanted to see it (again).
Key Things to Note
(1) Isaiah is complaining less, and letting his play do the talking for him.
And the interesting thing is that the rest of the team is following suit, performing under clutch situations to make sure these playoffs are special for Isaiah and what he is going through. Numerous guys are stepping up to the plate, including Terry Rozier and Kelly Olynyk. If the Celtics bench is clicking and scoring, the Celtics are primed to keep going strong in these playoffs. And people forget: A few quarters of team scoring, and then you know what time it is: Isaiah Time.
(2) Terry Rozier is legit
Terry was one of those guys that I didn’t really understand why Ainge picked him. He had skills, sure, but he seemed like a talented young prospect that wouldnt’ be ready to contribute as soon as the Celtics hoped.
Boy was I wrong.
Terry has not only been one of the Celtics’ most clutch shooters, he has also been a rebounding machine, seemingly snagging every loose ball out of the air that he can muster. His play has definitely been a factor in this series, and I’m excited for the future of this team, especially because I see Terry being a big part in it.
(3) Isaiah Thomas is a new animal
When one of the all-time greats reaches out to you to deliver some words of advice, you take notice. It’s simply what you do.
I think Kobe Bryant might have tweaked with some of Isaiah’s screws, because ever since their supposed “Film Study” together, I see Isaiah as decisive and aggressive as I have ever seen him. We all knew he was a fantastic scorer in the regular season, but many pondered if his success would translate to the much more physical playoffs. The answer to that? Isaiah Thomas is a new animal.
As it stands right now, the Celtics might be the hottest team in the playoffs, and perhaps a dominating second round is what the Celtics need to really garner some attention from superstars once free agency begins (Looking at you Gordon Hayward). For the moment, let’s enjoy a Celtics superstar do what he does best: Dominate.