By: Kenny Doyle
How hard do you think it is to score 29 PPG in the NBA? In the history of the NBA 41 players have ever scored over 29 PPG. Out of those 41, Isaiah Thomas ranks 14th in points per 36 minutes, behind nine players (Michael Jordan three times, George Gervin and Wilt Chamberlain twice). Out of those nine players, seven are in the hall of fame, and the other two are 2 time MVP Stephen Curry and triple double machine Russell Westbrook, both future hall of famers.
Isaiah is the smallest player on that list by 6 inches! How ridiculously absurd it is that IT can put up these types of numbers at his height could be talked about every second of every day and it still wouldn’t be talked about enough. He’s the perfect superstar for a team with a leprechaun as their mascot. He’s having a better scoring season than every single legendary player that has ever played for the Celtics not named Larry Bird. John Havlicek, Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, Kevin McHale, Dave Cowens, and Paul Pierce have never averaged as many points as Isaiah Thomas is averaging this season.
Does Isaiah Thomas belong with all those names? No. He’d have to win a championship. However, well averaging 29 points is great in it’s own right, doing it while being the best player on the team who has the 1 seed would be all the more impressive. All the other greats in Celtics history have won in the playoffs, so if all people want is for Isaiah to continue his incredible scoring into the playoffs, I would say that is more than fair. However, if people simply won’t accept how incredible his offensive numbers are just because of his defensive numbers, that’s where it gets stupid.
Isaiah has his defensive shortcomings. There’s no way around that, it is a fact. However, those shortcomings don’t make what he’s doing on offense any less impressive. One fact doesn’t make the other untrue, but until Isaiah starts letting his matchup score more points per game than he scores, his offensive numbers are more important. Lackluster defense doesn’t make twenty nine freaking points per game a wash.
The way Isaiah takes the ball at 7 footers almost surprises them. The way he’s able to maneuver the paint is unlike anything anybody in the NBA has ever been able to do. Even the Greek Freak can’t block him:
"The Little Guy!" is one of the most special players to put on a Celtics jersey. If you haven’t been appreciating what you’ve been watching, you might want to start. Points per 36 minutes isn’t the only stat where Isaiah walks with legends. Isaiah Thomas is one of only 7 players to score 29 PPG and shoot 38 percent from 3. Again three of the other six are hall of famers and the other three are Kobe Bryant, Steph Curry, and Kevin Durant who will all be in the hall of fame.
Isaiah’s numbers say he’s well on his way to a hall of fame career. I’m sure that statement makes some people laugh. It would be absolutely stunning if Isaiah Thomas ended up in the hall of fame career at the end of his career. But, it wouldn’t be the first time Isaiah proved people wrong.
Photo: (NBA) (Basketball Reference)