Who says that the Celtics are better off without the little guy? Tuesday nights win in Memphis was the best team performance of the season, a key reason for their victory was because of Isaiah Thomas's career game.
What makes this scoring output most impressive is the fact that Thomas dropped 44 on one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. The Grizzles were not able to stop I.T. from doing what he does best, driving to the hole and creating contact. He finished the game by going 17-17 from the line, attempting more free throws than field goals.
Here is what Jay King from MassLive.com had to say about Thomas's magical performance:
But it was Thomas who scored more points in a single regular season game than any Celtics guard since 1988. Over 44 minutes, he also racked up six assists while committing only one turnover. It was almost certainly the most efficient 40-point night you'll see this year, and, by at least one measure, the most valuable game anyone has delivered this season. The Celtics flailed around like drunken scarecrows for most of the first half -- lineups without Thomas and Horford were dreadful -- but it didn't matter because Thomas spent the second half and overtime in a dream world all his own.
Isaiah Thomas to @KyleDraperTV after the game: "I'm a killer. I'm a killer."— Jay King (@ByJayKing) December 21, 2016
The Boston point guard now averages 26.6 points a game, making him the highest scoring player at his position in the Eastern Conference. Given the competition around the East, outscoring other elite players around the NBA gives Thomas a legitimate chance at making a second All-Star appearance this season. It is also worth mentioning that Isaiah is doing this while playing less mintues than all the other top point guards in the league.
Remember that time Kobe scored 81?— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) December 21, 2016
That was the only time anyone ever made 7 threes and at least 17 free throws..
..until Isaiah tonight.
What could have gotten into Thomas that game? Maybe he was just ticked off from his previous outing in Miami where he was accessed a flagrant two foul and ejected from the game. Whatever the case, when I.T. is healthy the Celtics become a much more agressive team, creating contact around the rim and getting to the line.
Highlights from Isaiah Thomas and other C's from the victory in Memphis
Photo Credit: Nelson Chenault Spencer Tawes 12/22/2016 08:00:00 AM Tweet Edit