CelticsLife Awards 2017: Game of the Year, Playoffs

Well, CelticsLife readers, we've made it to the fourth installation of the CelticsLife Awards, which, for those of you who have yet to discover, is the CelticsLife writer's choices for the best of the best of the 2016-17 Boston Celtics season. We're reviewing the most outstanding basketball by the Celts across categories such as Game of the Year - Playoffs (which this article covers), Best Performance in a Loss, Game of the Year, Play of the Year, and many others, with earlier awards in this series linked at the bottom of the article. We've decided to expand the awards categories to account for the deep run into the playoffs, splitting them into regular season and playoff categories when relevant to account for the abundance of extraordinary basketball we witnessed this season. So, that said, let's dive into the fourth award's nominees:


Game Two - Washington Wizards - Celtics, (OT) 129 - 119

  • Game Two fell on what would have been Chyna Thomas' 23rd birthday
  • Isaiah Thomas was still recovering from dental surgery several hours in duration
  • IT dropped 53 points, including 29 after the third quarter
  • Most of any player in the playoffs since Allen Iverson in 2003 (55)
  • Most for a Celtic since John Havlicek put up 54 points in a playoff game in 1973
  • Al Horford added 15 points and 12 boards; Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder 14 points too

Game Seven- Washington Wizards - Celtics, 115 - 105

  • Isaiah logged 29 points and 12 assists in his first Game Seven of his NBA career 
  • Kelly Olynyk went off for a career-high 26 points in the playoffs
  • 11 of Boston's final 18 points came from Kelly, effectively sealing the win and series for the Cs

Game Three Eastern Conference Finals - Cleveland Cavaliers - Celtics, 111 - 108

  • The game came down to Avery Bradley's last-second dagger, bouncing on the rim before going in
  • Marcus Smart was the hero of the night, though, with 27 points and seven assists
  • Smart shot seven-of-10 from deep, inverting his regular-season average, among the NBA's worst
  • Bradley chipped in 20 points, Horford 16, Olynyk 15, and Crowder 14 points and 11 rebounds
  • Even Jonas Jerebko got fiery, calling out Kevin Love for flopping

Luis Gonzalez: Who would've thought that the savior for the Boston Celtics’ postseason would be Kelly Olynyk? After a season full of infuriating inconsistencies and nagging what-ifs, Kelly came through when the Celtics needed him most. Isaiah Thomas’ and Marcus Smart's big nights were definitely important, but for me it was easily the "Kelly Olynyk Game" that made the playoffs worth watching.

Justin Quinn: I feel like a broken record saying this, but it was clearly Isaiah’s huge night on what would have been his sister’s birthday, overcoming not just that emotional pain, but the physical pain he endured from the nagging hip injury and multiple dental surgeries. I definitely loved the drama and energy of Kelly Olynyk showing the world what he can do when he's aggressive and locked-in, and Marcus reminding me of why I was so excited when we drafted him with his amazing Game Three performance in the Eastern Conference Finals, but neither of these would have happened without IT4 putting it all on the floor that night in the TD Garden.

Josh Coyne: In a truly legendary performance against the Washington Wizards in Game Two, Isaiah scored the most points in a postseason game since Allen Iverson put up 55 points against the New Orleans Hornets all the way back in the 2003 NBA Playoffs. This one truly cemented IT’s place in the pantheon of Celtics folklore. No contest in my opinion, Game Two was the matchup of the series.

WINNER: Game Two - Washington Wizards - Celtics, (OT) 129 - 119

NEXT UP: Play 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.

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Follow Justin at @justinquinnn