That’s it, the debate is over. Russell Westbrook had the best season, and James Harden has been on fire, but Isaiah Thomas is my MVP.
My take on his inspiring journey this post-season:
Adversity, and More Adversity
A former last pick in the NBA draft, we all know the tale of his rise to stardom, and how he settled for a bench role before his time. From Sacramento to Phoenix, and now Boston, he’s had one of the toughest come ups in this league, and assuredly the toughest out of current MVP candidates.
Just after the post-season commenced, Thomas lost his sister Chyna, to a fatal car accident. Despite the grievance following her death, he elected to play in Game 1, where he dropped (33) points, (6) assists, and (6) rebounds in a loss. The Celtics would go on to lose the first two games in Boston, but Thomas still willed them to a Round 1 victory.
Boston was set to face the Washington Wizards in Round 2. Before Game 1, he attended his sister’s funeral, and still showed up and performed with (33) points and (9) assists as the Celtics took Game 1. Not to mention losing his tooth mid game, as seen here:
Tuesday, would have been Chyna’s 23rd birthday. Dedicating the game to his sister, Thomas went out there and completely put down the Wizards in every way. This kid is the toughest in the game, no doubt:
“Today’s my sister’s 23rd birthday, she would have been 23 today. So the least I can do is go out there and play for her.”
While grieving for his sister, and amidst all the exertion that comes with playoff intensity, he still found a way to focus on his performance, and execute.
Statistics, King of the 4th
This season, Thomas has averaged: (28.9) points, (5.9) assists, and (2.7) rebounds per game. Delegated the “King of the 4th,” he has dominated at the end of games, averaging nearly (10) points in the last twelve minutes. He has lead his team to victory over and over, and now Boston back to their first Conference Semi Finals since 2012.
Tuesday night in Game 2 against the Washington Wizards, we witnessed greatness yet again. In an overtime win, Thomas dropped (53) in total, and (26!) between the 4th/overtime. Living up to his nickname, no one has found a way to stop him in the last quarter of regulation.
His (53) point performance broke many a record last night. It was the most points scored in a playoff game since Iverson in 2003. As a 2nd-round pick, it’s the most points scored since Paul Millsap who dropped 45. For the Celtics, it’s the most scored in the playoffs since John Havlicek who scored 54 in 1973.
After last night’s performance, Twitter was abuzz with praise for the point guard’s resilience.
Without regarding his regular season performance which was just as mighty, Isaiah Thomas has undoubtedly placed himself in the running for the MVP award. Through the post-season, the 5″9 point guard is averaging (28) points, (6) assists, and (1.1) steals a game.
MVP or not, Thomas has gone out there, time and time again, and elevated his game to levels untouchable by most.
IT4 for MVP.
All stats and information provided by ESPN and NBA.com.