Isaiah Thomas has been redefining the odds in the NBA with every scoring burst that he pours into the stat sheet. The 5'9" little guy faced massive obstacles that obstructed his vision on making a professional roster, let alone becoming a star.
There have been players his height before, but none have existed in this era of basketball where ridiculous specimen like Russell Westbrook man the point guard positions. Nate Robinson is Isaiah's size and provided solid services with his time in the league, but he was also a second-unit player and had crazy athleticism on his side that Isaiah does not possess. Of the 22 players that were 5'9" or shorter in NBA history, Robinson and Calvin Murphy (1970-1983) were the only ones to average more than 10 points per game, and Murphy was the lone All-Star.
Even though he was drafted in 2011, he was the last pick, putting even more odds against him. In the 25 years prior to his draft night in 2011, only eight players selected with the 60th pick had registered NBA playing time (32%). Of those players, Drazan Petrovic was the only one to average more than 10 points per game.
Isaiah never doubted his abilities despite the pile of odds that were stacked taller than him. In a sport that has always been associated with big and tall bodies, Isaiah wanted to be the best little guy to ever play the game.
As we all know, he become the first 60th pick and the second shortest player to ever become an All-Star in the 2015-16 season. Not only does he continue to make "little guy" history, he is now leaving his mark on the entire game.
One of the only constants (along with Avery Bradley) in what has been a bumpy first ten games to the Celtics season has been Isaiah's offense. Even in games where he seems to be having an off night, he finishes with a sneaky 25 and six. His scoring in particular has been so impressive, and his 26.9 points per game is near the top in the Eastern Conference:
Through 10 games, Isaiah Thomas is averaging 26.9 PPG, second in the East behind DeMar DeRozan (whose leading the NBA at 34.0) @CelticsLife— Mark Van Deusen (@LucidSportsFan) November 15, 2016
Going back to his consistency, Isaiah has scored 20 or more in every contest so far, putting him in elite Celtic company:
Isaiah Thomas is now the 3rd Celtic to score 20 pts or more in every one of the teams' first 10 games.— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) November 15, 2016
(Kevin McHale 86-87, Sam Jones 65-6) pic.twitter.com/iU6K3SmTtp
That's 11 straight games for Isaiah Thomas with at least 20 points going back to last year, and 29 of his last 31. pic.twitter.com/PGJjOgtC29— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) November 15, 2016
His ability to drive into the paint has been very effective, whether he draws a foul or finishes with a nifty shot around the rim. The former has been occurring most frequently this season, and Isaiah has been taking advantage of his time at the charity stripe by hitting 83 of 95 (87.4%). 75 of those made free throws came in the first nine games, which is another historic Celtic milestone for IT4:
The .@celtics @Isaiah_Thomas has made 75 free throws, the most in franchise history through the first 9 games of the season. pic.twitter.com/8iDHXotAOt— A. Sherrod Blakely (@SherrodbCSN) November 14, 2016
Don't ever pick him last (or trade him for next to nothing) again. Thank you Phoenix!
Follow Erik Johnson on Twitter: @erikjohnson32
Photo of Isaiah by Tim Kennedy Erik Johnson 11/15/2016 12:47:00 PM Tweet Edit