Isaiah Thomas was taken with the 60th and final pick in the 2011 draft out of Washington by the Sacramento Kings. After making no impact in Sacramento and Phoenix, Thomas was traded to the Celtics at the 2015 trade deadline and has been a crucial part of the Celtics’ success ever since. Boston made a run at the playoffs during that season and finished 7th in the East in large part thanks to Thomas. The following year Isaiah Thomas took over the role as starting point guard and led the team to a 48-34 record and the 5th seed in the playoffs.
Despite high expectations for Thomas and the Celtics this season, Isaiah has been able to once again take it to another level and launch himself into the NBA’s elite. Not only has he been lighting it up from a scoring stand point (29.9 PPG – 2nd in NBA), but he has been scoring when it counts the most. Thomas is averaging 10.5 PPG in the fourth quarter alone, including four 20 point fourth quarters, which is on to pace to shatter the highest fourth quarter PPG in the last 20 years. Thomas’ 29.9 PPG is tied with Larry Bird in 1987 for the highest scoring season in Celtics’ history. If Isaiah can catch Russell Westbrook for the scoring title, he will be the first franchise player in history to do so. Thomas is also approaching John Havlicek’s records of 40 straight 20 point games (he currently has 34 and counting).
Thomas is also challenging several Celtics franchise records this season.
The biggest case for Isaiah Thomas for MVP this year is the Celtics’ record with him on the court. Since he returned from injury in mid-December, the Celtics are 19-6 and have risen all the way to the #2 seed in the East with a 32-18 record, sitting only 2.5 games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers. Thomas has averaged 33 points per game since coming back from injury, and has scored 60 points over the last three games in the fourth quarter alone. The little guy turns 28 years old on Tuesday and shows no signs of slowing down. I think no player is more valuable to his team at this point in the season right now than Isaiah Thomas.