Isaiah Thomas had a magnificent season last year. Not only did he average 28.9 points per game, he also scored a historic 10.1 points in the fourth quarter. This incredible statistic is the most points scored in the final 12 minutes of the game since 1997, when stats like these began being tallied. In addition to his incredible individual achievements, his team also grabbed the one seed in the Eastern Conference. Thomas had an amazing postseason as well, leading the Boston Celtics to an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Because of everything I just mentioned, Isaiah was considered a fringe serious MVP candidate. In a season where Russell Westbrook is averaging a triple double, and James Harden is having one of the most balanced seasons we've ever seen, it is a serious honor to be mentioned as a candidate. Thomas ended up placing fifth in the voting for MVP in the 2016-17 season. Not bad for the last damn pick in the draft, huh?
Yet, despite his incredible season last year, Isaiah is being doubted again by critics.
Bovada, a website that tallies sports odds, has Thomas as the ninth most likely MVP choice next season. While I don't think that Isaiah is going to win the award next year, I do find it disrespectful to give him such bad odds. There are few players in the NBA that have changed a franchise like he has. IT has made Boston a serious contender in the span of pretty much two years. He is our superstar, our leading scorer, our leading assister, and our fourth quarter killer. In terms of what player is really most valuable to a successful team, it doesn't get much more important than Thomas.
Now I don't want to get into the debate over who Isaiah is more valuable than on that list because that really doesn't matter. What matters is that he is the most important player on a top five team in the league. To say that he is the ninth most likely player to win MVP shows not only the disrespect towards him, but also the negligence to honor a player for team success. Does anyone really think that the Milwaukee Bucks, New Orleans Pelicans, or Oklahoma City Thunder are going to be more successful than the Celtics?
Hopefully this just motivates Isaiah more, and he gets a chance to prove Bovada wrong. Every player that has better odds to win MVP than Thomas definitely is a possibility and would all be deserving of the award. I just think that this is another instance of people doubting him, something that many people have regretted ever since he was passed up 59 times in his 2011 draft.