In the midst of a race to the playoffs, the Boston Celtics have been fighting hard. Really hard. They’ve won 4 of their last 5 games including a tough overtime battle against the division leading Toronto Raptors.
Keep in mind that this is the same Celtics team who was expected to be among the teams fighting for the #1 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Instead, they’ve grinded their way to an 8-seed and shocked many fans and experts alike along the way.
What does it take to make a playoff run? Things like a talented roster and a star head coach would be the most common answer, yet Boston has neither of those. The roster is closer to a thrown together bunch of nobodies than a talented group of all-star caliber players and although young head coach Brad Stevens has done a tremendous job with the situation he’s been given, he’s still far from “star” status.
So how in the world are these Boston Celtics closing in on their 52nd playoff appearance? To put it simply, they’ve been playing hard, aggressive, full of heart basketball. These Celtics know they aren’t the team with the most talent, but I’d bet they’d be willing to argue that anyone has more heart than them.
Under the wing of brilliant second-year coach Brad Stevens, the Celtics are rallying around each other and grinding hard to earn their spot in the 2015 NBA Playoffs.
Nov 8, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens yells during the first half of their game against the Chicago bulls at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Although heart is good, and rallying around your teammates is great and all, heart doesn’t always win basketball games. But having the possible sixth man of the year and offensive beast Isaiah Thomas does. After being swapped between three different teams in under a year, he’s landed in Boston, much to the joy of Celtics fans.
His short stint with the Phoenix Suns didn’t pan out as Phoenix hoped it would, and left spectators wondering how he’d fare after being dealt to yet another team, especially a young and inconsistent team like the Celtics.
They got their answer. Since joining the Celtics, Thomas has truly come into his own and often dominated opposing defenses on the offensive end and put up very impressive numbers night after night. He spared no time in taking leadership on the court and in the locker room amongst the young Celtics team.
It seems as if the closer we get to the playoffs, the more Thomas takes his game up one more notch. In the past three games, Isaiah has average a ridiculous 27.3 points per game… OFF THE BENCH.
That is one more reason why Thomas should be heavily considered for the sixth man of the year award, and why C’s fans all over should let it sink in that this Isaiah Thomas kid is for real and he’s taking our Celtics straight the post-season.
Mar 9, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) drives to the basket between Miami Heat forward Michael Beasley (30) and guard Shabazz Napier (13) in the second half at American Airlines Arena. The Celtics won 100-90. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
Thomas scored four points shy of his career-high of 38 points in a huge game against the Detroit Pistons. The game before, he scored 25 points in a win against a tough Raptors squad. The game before that? He scored 23 points. All coming off the bench.
Celtics fans should be ecstatic that Thomas is playing like a man possessed, because I feel secure in saying that he’s truly putting the team on his shoulders and led them into playoff contention since joining the team in February. Not only has he put up big numbers each night, he’s doing it very efficiently, and in turn churning out win after win for our beloved Celtics.
Let’s all take a moment to stop and thank our general manager and hero, Mr. Danny Ainge, for making the move to acquire Thomas. It has paid off unbelievably, and if the following years go anything like this year in terms of this teams passion, heart, and determination to be successful, the Celtics should be back in the playoffs not only this year, but for many years to follow.
More from Hardwood Houdini
- Boston Celtics’ two-way contract decision will be made after training camp
- Proposed trade sends Boston Celtics playoff killer to the Cs from rival
- ‘Face of Germany’s stunning run’ in FIBA World Cup not the only ex-Boston Celtics player to win gold
- Proposed Boston Celtics trade target pitched for reunion with fired coach
- Battle For Banner 18: Will Boston Celtics battle historical foe in 2024 Finals?