Isaiah Thomas returns to the Garden as a starter, passes torch to Carsen Edwards
Photo of Carsen Edwards courtesy of Ron Schwane/AP
Any time Isaiah Thomas steps foot in the TD Garden he’ll be welcomed with a warm reception and increased buzz. This wasn’t IT’s first time back as an opponent, but after a couple of difficult seasons dealing with a hip injury, he was back as a starting point guard for the Washington Wizards.
Thomas wasn’t tasked with carrying the team and putting on an otherworldly fourth quarter performance that anointed him the King of the Fourth. This isn’t the same top-5 MVP candidate we saw throughout the 2016-17 season, but he played well. Although Jaylen Brown put on an impressive offensive stretch with Thomas guarding him, IT did what he does on the offensive end. Deferring to a hot Brad Beal, Thomas finished the night with 18 points, 7 assists on 50% shooting across 33 minutes.
Jaylen Brown on Isaiah Thomas guarding him: “He was screaming for help ... Maybe his braids was too tight.” (Goes on to express how much he likes IT, obviously)
On the other side of the court, Carsen Edwards was putting on a similar show that we grew accustomed to in IT’s tenure with the Boston Celtics. Edwards matched Thomas’ 18 points, but in only 20 minutes. Throughout the summer and preseason, I had enough evidence that Edwards could be a spark or microwave-scorer off the bench. It was on Wednesday night that proved he can do it on a bigger stage.
Carsen Edwards finished with 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting (4-5 3-PT), marking the highest scoring game by any Celtics reserve this season (16-Smart, 11/9 at SAS) https://t.co/EhnqTRK292
We finally saw the importance of Edwards’ game. When he’s hot, watch out. He connected on 4/5 of his three point attempts and the Garden was rocking. He carried the Celtics for a spell against the Wizards. It was not just a scoring show, as Edwards chipped in four rebounds, three assists and a steal.
On a night where IT was back in town, Edwards stole the show. He has a similar game to IT, so its conceivable that the torch has been officially passed on. And to further intensify the warm and fuzzies, Edwards looks up to IT as he stated after the game.
Carsen Edwards on @IsaiahThomas: "A guy like him gives guys like me hope – short guys that wanna make it. He changed the game at his height. The things he’s done helped me a lot."
My buddy always pokes fun at the fact that I love the little guys. We have a friendly wager on Tremont Waters’ (another little guy) career length. There’s something about about rooting for the David among Goliath’s that has always struck a chord with me. Isaiah’s time was really fun, not because he was little, but because he was productive. The same will go for Kemba Walker. And maybe even more of a parallel is Carsen Edwards’ ability to take the torch. Wednesday night was a step in the right direction.
Isaiah Thomas rose from 6th Man to Top-5 MVP finisher in his 2.5 years in Boston.
In 179 games, IT averaged 24.7 PTS & 6 AST in 32 MIN, while shooting 44%/37%/89%.