Tag Archives: Isaiah Thomas

Ray Allen Says Isaiah Thomas Should Win MVP. Why Isn’t Anyone Else?

When you’re in an MVP race, it’s always nice to get some love from the greats to help sway voters in your favor. Recently, Celtics All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas got a nod from the recently retired Ray Allen.

Allen was recently a guest on The Rich Eisen Show, and he was asked for his opinion on the current MVP race.

“Right now, I’d have to say Isaiah Thomas.” Allen said. “I like Isaiah… You take him off that roster, I don’t know how successful they’d be.”

Judging by these comments, it seems Allen views the MVP in a very literal sense. He argues that without Isaiah, the Celtics wouldn’t be any good.

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The assertion that the Celtics wouldn’t be good without Thomas is in contrast to several remarks made earlier in the season by Boston media personalities who thought the Celtics did just fine without Thomas during a stretch in December.

“11 assists on 13 buckets. Is it just me or does the ball move better without Isaiah Thomas?” tweeted Tony Massarotti, co-host of Felger and Mazz on 98.5 The Sports Hub.

Comments like this seemed to irk Thomas, who was battling a groin injury and was forced to sit several games.

“They gotta write something. They say the stupidest things so they get the headlines and everybody can talk about it,” Thomas said. “I can’t control that. At this point, I laugh about it now. Because it’s like, if you really think that, OK, that’s fine. I know what I mean to my teammates, I know what I mean to this organization and to Brad Stevens.”

From that point on, Thomas went on an MVP-worthy stretch that not only catapulted the Celtics to second in the East, but launched Thomas right in the thick of the MVP race.

In early February, CBS Sports had Thomas in a three-way tie for first in the MVP race with James Harden and Russell Westbrook. At this time, Thomas was second in the league with 29.9 PPG and led the league in fourth quarter scoring. At the time, Bill Reuter of CBS Sports wrote “Will it last? No idea. But for the time being he belongs right here, in the mix for the MVP with Westbrook and Harden.”

Contrary to Bill Reuter’s nod to Thomas, Ray Allen’s remarks come at a time when hype around a potential MVP title for Thomas seems to be cooling down outside of Boston media.

Since Reuter’s article was published on February 8, the narrative of the MVP race seems to have changed. That same source, CBS Sports, published a lengthy article today detailing a new tie for first: LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard and James Harden. In a feature-length article with over twenty paragraphs, Isaiah Thomas was not mentioned once. What gives?

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Part of the reason Thomas has faded out of MVP contention is that a lot of people suddenly remembered that Kawhi Leonard is really good. Leonard and the Spurs’ rise in the Western Conference has outshadowed the Celtics’ Eastern Conference domination, and while Thomas is good, he has been relegated to a secondary tier of MVP candidates along with the likes of John Wall and Kevin Durant.

The truth is, while Thomas has played great since his peak in February, it hasn’t been enough to capture the attention of voters enough to pull away from the gargantuan forces of Westbrook, LeBron, Kawhi and Harden. Most of his MVP attention came after a stretch where he scored 37, 41, 44 and 38 points. It would take another extended stretch like this for Thomas to get serious MVP consideration, whether fair or not. He’s second in the league in scoring and he’s leading the Celtics to their best finish in years, but that simply isn’t enough when you’re going against a guy who is nearly averaging a triple double for the season in Russell Westbrook.

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So while Allen’s claim that the Celtics wouldn’t be much without Thomas may be true, it’s going to take a whole lot more than that to win votes.

The final push for Thomas, however, may have to wait several days. He is currently dealing with a bone bruise in his right knee and might miss the weekend’s games.

Allen also said in his interview that he believes the Celtics will make it to the Eastern Conference Finals. So far, this is shaping up to be a thrilling finish, and you can expect Thomas to do everything he can to ensure the Celtics can make that claim a reality.

 

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Wizards Wear All Black vs. Celtics, Avoid Embarrassment By Actually Winning

If you were to rate the NBA’s most heated rivalries, Celtics/Wizards would not be very high on the list. As a matter of fact, many people might not have even realized that the two teams have any sort of beef with each other, but the Wizards set us straight on that last night.

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The Wizards showed up to the Verizon Center in all black for last night’s game against the Celtics, presumably to show them that they weren’t f***ing around this time.

It was the third time the two teams would face off this season. In the first game, John Wall got into a spat with Marcus Smart, and Jae Crowder did the only logical thing to respond- touch John Wall’s nose (yeah, we don’t know either).

Due to the heated nature of the first two games, the Wizards must’ve felt like they needed to channel their inner Oakland Raiders and wear all black to set the tone:

Second only to predicting a championship and not winning one, nothing is an all-in risk like wearing all black for intimidation and getting beat down at home, so the Wizards immediately raised their stakes in this mid-season match up.

As for the Celtics in this situation? They entered last night’s action with a 26-17 record, tied for second in the Eastern Conference with the Toronto Raptors. Toronto has been free-falling lately, however, dropping four games in a row to the 76ers, Hornets, Suns and Spurs.

Before the game, a reporter showed Isaiah Thomas the videos above, to which Thomas simply replied “that’s cute”.

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Thomas would go on to lead the Celtics with 25 points and 13 assists, but it wouldn’t be enough to overcome a combined 58 points from Bradley Beal and John Wall; the Wizards would go on to win 123-108.

Despite the loss, the Celtics find themselves in a very favorable position in the Eastern Conference. If the Raptors continue to slide, the Celtics have a wide-open lane to second place in the east. On top of this, five out of the Celtics’ next six games will be home at the TD Garden. This includes a pivotal game against the Raptors next Wednesday that could push them to the top of the division with a win.

 

NBA All Stars: Who should the starters be?

The NBA All star voting concluded on Monday leaving some people with questions as to how legitimate the voting system has become in the NBA. Golden State Warriors Center Zaza Pachulia has racked up enough votes to possibly become the Western Conference stater at the 5 position. Over 21 million votes have been cast in this years voting, which is a 142% increase from last years game. The starters are determined by voting that is combined from the fans (50%), players (25%), and the media (25%). The starters for the All Star game will be chosen tonight on TNT on a special edition of NBA tip off. We pick who SHOULD start the game.

Eastern conference:

Guards:

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Kyrie Irving

Irving is averaging 23.6 points per game along with 5.6 assists. During the season, Irving has put Lebron in the backseat for some clutch moments including the dagger on Christmas day against Golden State. One of the best young players in the game, Irving is the best point guard in the Eastern Conference.

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Isaiah Thomas

Thomas is averaging 28.7 points per game combined with 6 assists. This season, Isaiah has put the team on his back which has garnered him the nickname “King of the Fourth”. Thomas has taken over games time and time again averaging the most points in the 4th quarter in the NBA.

Frontcourt:

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Lebron James

James is obviously a shoe in to be an all star because he is the BEST player in the league, no questions asked. James is averaging 25.6 points, 8.1 assist, and 7.8 rebounds per game. James can do anything on a basketball court, he has great court vision and superior athletic ability making him the most dangerous player in the game.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo

The Greek Freak jumped onto the scene last year with some impressive highlights, but this season he has really turned into a fantastic player. Giannis is averaging 23.7 points, 5.6 assists, and 8.7 rebounds per game. He has shown is freakish athleticism time and time again this year with highlight reel dunks. The 22 year old has a very bright future.

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Joel Embiid

Embiid is the first draft pick to somewhat look like he is going to pan out like they planned. Embiid is leading the Sixers, averaging 19.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game. “The Process” is dominating the game down low.

Western Conference:

Guards:

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James Harden

Harden is my favorite for MVP right now. He’s taken an average Rockets team and made them one of the best teams in the league. Harden is averaging 28.9 points, 11.6 assists, and 8.3 rebounds per game. The former backup to Russell Westbrook has moved past him for best point guard in the Western Conference. Harden controls the game and limits his turnovers making everyone around him better.

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Russell Westbrook

There are really no words to explain what Russell Westbrook is doing to the league this year. Although his turnover numbers could be much better, you can’t ignore his stats, 30.6 points, 10.4 assists, and 10.6 rebounds per game. Averaging a triple double has been damn near impossible in the NBA. But if he continues down this road, it could go down as one of the best statistical season ever.

Frontcourt:

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Kevin Durant

Durant has received a lot of hate for he offseason move to the Warriors. It has not gone as well as some people imagined, but Durant’s play has been consistent as he had a 40 point outburst last night against his former team in the Oracle. On a team with a ton of scorers, Durant is still averaging 26.7 points per game on top of 4.7 assists and 8.6 rebounds.

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Kawhi Leonard

Arguably one of the most underrated players in the NBA, Kawhi Leonard has become THE guy in San Antonio. He is the complete package, an excellent defender, paired with ability to score at will. Leonard has become a top tier player in the West. His stats aren’t indicative of how important he is to the team, with 24.8 points, 3.1 assists, and 5.7 rebounds per game.

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Anthony Davis

Davis is a premier player in the NBA. He is the best center in the NBA and is carrying an awful team down in New Orleans. Davis is averaging 28.8 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game. If you could start your franchise with one player, this guy has to be close to the top of the list because he is a fantastic talent in the NBA.

Tune in to NBA Tip off on TNT tonight to see which players receive the honor of starting in this year’s All Star game.

 

Celtics Streak Ends in Cleveland

Brad Stevens, head coach of Boston Celtics during the NBA Regular Season basketball game between Sacramento Kings and Boston Celtics at the Mexico City Arena on December 03, 2015 in Mexico City, Mexico.

The last time Boston traveled to Cleveland, the Celtics capped off a huge comeback win, scoring eight points in the final eight seconds topped off by an Avery Bradley game winning three pointer. Not only did Bradley’s brilliance shine through, but head coach Brad Stevens orchestrated the perfect play. This time the Celtics were coming into Cleveland on a five game winning streak. Unfortunately, the outcome was different. The top seeded Cavaliers beat the Celtics handily 120-103.

The Celtics jumped out to a quick lead in the first quarter, dominating play and outscoring the Cavs 35-22. Isaiah Thomas and Evan Turner led the way, going 7 of 9 from the field with a combined 16 points, while the Cavs struggled mightily in finding their offensive game with their leading scorer being Timofey Mozgov with 6 points. LeBron and Kyrie failed to lead the charge, and the Cavs seemed to be on their heels for the first 8 minutes of the game. Cleveland found themselves down 18 early, but was able to close the gap by scoring the final five points of the first quarter.

The Cavs, taking their momentum from the end of the first quarter, were able to put together an incredible run, outscoring the Celtics 82-50 from the second quarter to the final 9 minutes of the game. Boston was able to close the gap to 9 with 3 minutes remaining in the game, but failed to put together a solid string of offensive possessions.

The loss ended the Celtics’ 5 game winning streak, but Isaiah Thomas continued his hot pace, scoring 27 points and adding four assists and three rebounds. Jared Sullinger had another impressive outing, recording a double-double 17 points and 13 rebounds. The Cavaliers offense was sparked by a usual suspect, LeBron James. James came just two assists shy of a triple double; scoring 28 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and dishing out eight assists.

LeBron not only had himself another great performance, but he also made history, being the third player along with Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to score at least 10 points in 700 consecutive games.

Pretty elite company.

Looking down the road, the Celtics have a tough schedule, which will surely test how battle tested the Celtics truly are for their push toward the playoffs. With upcoming games against Western Conference powerhouses like the Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers, and Golden State Warriors, the Celtics need to keep grinding if they want to hold onto the third spot in the Eastern Conference.

In regards to their in-conference foes, it might not be the last time we see the Cleveland Cavaliers. With the East being typically weaker than the West, the expectation is that they will find themselves back in the Conference finals. Although the Celtics dropped the last game in the season series and came out on the losing end of 2-1, the Celtics should be excited for their future, proving they can hang with the best.