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We've arrived at award number five, CelticsLife readers - the fifth edition of the 2017 CelticsLife Awards, which, for the novices among you, is the CelticsLife writer's choices for the best of the best of the 2016-17 Boston Celtics season. We're covering the most outstanding basketball by the Celts across categories such as Play of the Year, Regular Season (which this article covers), Best Performance in a Loss, Game of the Year, Best performance by a duo and many others, with earlier awards in this series linked at the bottom of the article. We've expanded the award categories to account for the extended postseason run, splitting them into regular season and playoff categories (when relevant) to account for the volume of noteworthy basketball we enjoyed this season. So, housekeeping behind us, let's jump into the fifth award's nominees:

CANDIDATES: PLAY OF THE YEAR, REGULAR SEASON

Marcus Smart buzzer-beater three


Isaiah Thomas clutch three-pointer


Ice-cold Thomas layup


Smart blocks Enes Kanter


Thomas hits a shot-clock-beating circus shot



Jordan Mickey stuffs Markieff Morris


Isaiah Thomas not contesting Paul Pierce’s final shot in the garden effectively


Gerald Green's putback dunk


Justin Quinn: This one was really, really hard. It was cool seeing Jordan Mickey shine for a hot second with his stuff of Markieff Morris, and a pleasure to see Gerald Green still has hops, but sentimentality wins the day in the end, if you can count Isaiah Thomas' “defense” of Paul Pierce’s last shot in the TD Garden a basketball play. I suppose it is, if Draymond Green’s flailing is being argued as such. So, for me, the play of the year was easily the Truth's trey against Isaiah, one that will stick with me for the ages.

Mark Allison: It’s Pierce’s final shot at the Garden for me, too. Pierce hit the final shot in a Celtics win at the TD Garden in his last time playing there - pretty dope, if you ask me. More than just us nostalgic Celtics fans getting to see one of our favorites go out in style, that play means more than just the emotion of the moment. Just look at last offseason, where a big factor for Al Horford coming to Boston was him seeing just how passionate the Celtics fans were last playoffs when he played against us. The fans showing Pierce all that love will not be missed on most guys who might have an opportunity to sign in Boston someday. It might mean a lot more down the line than any other play this season.

Josh Coyne: Have to agree. Most of my favorite moments from this year have involved Marcus Smart jumping, wrestling, diving or racing for the ball, but my heart can’t go for anything other than the Pierce moment. I made it to three of four home games that week, on my trip over from the UK. It was Super Bowl Sunday and the buzz around the city was palpable. With my complimentary Pierce tribute headband in hand, I chanted ‘We Want Pauly!’ along with the rest of the TD Garden. When he was finally allowed in the game to hit that shot, the crowd erupted and the Truth created my fondest memory of experiencing live sports to date.

WINNER: Isaiah Thomas not contesting Paul Pierce’s final shot in the garden effectively
NEXT UPPlay of the Year, Regular Season

PREVIOUSLY: Best Individual Performance, Regular Season ; Best Individual Performance, Playoffs Game of the Year, Regular Season

For more stories about the 2016-17 season on CelticsLife, click here. For more by Justin, click here.



Photo via hofmag.com
Follow Justin at @justinquinnn

Justin Quinn 6/12/2017 10:52:00 AM Edit
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