CelticsLife Awards 2017: Best Performance in Defeat, Playoffs

We're at the tenth edition of the 2017 CelticsLife Awards, the CelticsLife writer's choices for the best of the Celtics' basketball of the 2016-17 Boston Celtics season. We're taking the most outstanding on- and off-court moves made by the Celts across categories like Best Performance in Defeat, Playoffs (which this article covers), along with many other such awards, with earlier iterations 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 all of the of the amazing basketball we've witnessed this season. So, housekeeping complete, let's dive into the tenth award's nominees:


Isaiah Thomas - Game One, Chicago Bulls vs. Boston Celtics: 33 points, six rebounds, six assists

Jaylen Brown - Game Two, Eastern Conference Finals: 19 points, four rebounds

Avery Bradley - Game Five, Eastern Conference Finals: 23 points, four rebounds

Jae Crowder - Game Four, Eastern Conference Finals: 18 points, eight rebounds

Justin Quinn: This was one of Jae Crowder’s best performances of the year, regular season and playoffs combined. Had Isaiah Thomas not been playing literally hours after hearing about the death of his baby sister before putting up 33 points, six boards and six dishes, I’d still have given the edge to IT; with the off-court context, it’s not even close.

Mark Allison: Yeah, it’s gotta be Isaiah playing just the day after his sister’s passing. Not only was I pretty shocked that he even played that game, but he put one of the gutsiest performances I’ve ever seen given the circumstances.

Josh Coyne: Isaiah Thomas playing in Game One of the playoffs under inconceivably difficult circumstances, and putting on the outstanding performance he did that night is nothing short of incredible. Without a doubt, it is the clear winner in this category for me.

Luis Gonzalez: It almost hurts me to consider this based on the circumstances that surround it but this definitely has to go to Isaiah. The day after losing his sister Chyna, Thomas put up a heart-filled effort in defeat. While this game was in the playoffs, it couldn’t have mattered less. This game showed everybody that against all odds, IT can and will be your guy. If someone didn’t respect him before, this game changed that, without a doubt. #DontTradeIsaiah

WINNERIsaiah Thomas, Game One, Chicago Bulls vs. Boston Celtics (36pts, 6 rebs, 6 asts)

PREVIOUSLY: Best Individual Performance, Regular Season ; Best Individual Performance, Playoffs Game of the Year, Regular Season ; Game of the Year, Playoffs ; Play of the Year, Regular Season ; Play of the Year, Playoffs ; Most Improved Celtic ; Front Office Move of the Year ; Best Performance in Defeat, Regular Season

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

Photo via CBC.ca/Getty Images
Follow Justin at @justinquinnn