Kevin Love set a hard screen against Isaiah Thomas and Isaiah went on wobbling around like a tired fighter in the ring, pushing himself to one last round, while his legs slowly betrayed him. Thomas endured greater hits before, emotionally and physically. Going through the death of his sister, getting his tooth knocked out and went through oral surgery while bringing his team all the way to the Eastern Conference finals. However, Isaiah wasn’t spared against Kevin Love’s 250 pound body that goes right into his already injured hip. Isaiah initially injured his hip during the Celtics’ season game on March 15 against Minnesota and aggravated during Game 6 against Washington last May 12. Isaiah could have played more, but the long-term damage could ruin his career.
Thomas is a five-foot-nine inch and 185-pounder diminutive guard who is an Allen Iverson version 2.0 but a bit smaller. As good as, he was back in high school and college, Isaiah was the last pick in the 2011 NBA draft that featured a great number of Point guards (Kyrie Irving as top overall) and shooters from all positions. This have been the trend with the NBA lately, Tweeners (players that plays multiple positions) are in demand while the traditional players who plays a true position came out lost in translation. There are seven-footer point guards in Ben Simmons and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Dirk Nowitzki got spawned and branch out to a dozen eques.
Thomas is like an old oak tree in the middle of the busy streets in New York – He doesn’t belong there. And for a time watching him, we felt that any minute he will get run over by raging bulls in the court. But like what they say “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, It’s the size of the fight in the dog”. Isaiah turned the Boston Celtics to an inspiring and most exciting team to watch throughout this season. Thomas’ 53-point performance against Washington can be summed up to one word… Magical.
But no matter how great Isaiah Thomas’ offense is, he will always be a marked target on the other end of the floor. Bigger guards will post him, and bigger bodies will bump him with ease. Boston took refuge on his offense although it was enough to get them to where they are now. It still doesn’t solve the problem against Cleveland and Golden State. It could have been better if Thomas ended this season fighting. It was a magical run that should have ended with a “happy ever after”. But even with a healthy Thomas, Boston will have to dig deep to book themselves to the finals.
And so Isaiah Thomas will live to fight another day. However, the uncertainty of his future looms ahead. With Boston winning the NBA lottery, it will likely chose Markelle Fultz who will be the Celtics future franchise player. The 6-foot-4 Fultz coincidentally plays the point guard, which Thomas will have to share his minutes. The Celtics are targeting on Gordon Hayward and it’s likely going into the right direction. With Isaiah who will be a free agent this summer, and if Hayward is locked in, Thomas will have a limited role in offense and scoring opportunities. The question is would Boston offer him a max contract?
The people in TD Garden started chanting “MVP, MVP, MVP” as all eyes are in Isaiah as he hits his first free throw. It has been a good year and a good season for Thomas…people in Boston appreciated him as they continued to chant until it died down. Isaiah rightfully deserves a max contract; he fought his way up emotionally and physically.
In the land of the giant, Isaiah Thomas stood tall.
Taller than a seven-foot point guard, and his heart is bigger than Kevin Love’s 250-pound body.