Isaiah Thomas’ Style of Play Will Dictate Boston Celtics’ Playoff Results


Now that the Boston Celtics have officially clinched a playoff spot it is time to look at how they might continue to shock the world and win some playoff games. There is no doubt that the Celtics are going into the post season with more momentum than anyone else in the East.

Not only are the Celtics tied for most wins in the last 10 games in the east but they just had their two biggest wins of the season against the team they are planning on seeing in the first round, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers will certainly be substantially more than what they were when the played the Celtics as they  did Boston a big favour by resting their players.

Even if the Cavaliers were shorthanded the Celtics could not feel more confident against them than right now. Before these last two games the Celtics previous meeting with the Cavaliers ended in a 21 point loss.

Apr 12, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jared Sullinger (7) shoots against Cleveland Cavaliers center Kendrick Perkins (3) and forward James Jones (1) in the second half at TD Garden. The Celtics defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 117-78. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

With how great the Celtics are playing the players believe more than anyone else that they will remain competitive against the Cavaliers and the main reason why is usually the shortest man on the court, Isaiah Thomas.

There is no doubt that Thomas is the go to guy on the offensive side of the ball. While the Celtics always play with great ball movement Thomas finds ways to score better than anyone else on the roster. Fresh off of one of his best weeks of the season, Thomas knows that he is capable of keeping the Celtics in any game against any team.

The problem Thomas may run into is falling too much in love with the jump shot. With Thomas shooting a great 42% in his last 10 games, he has been most effective and most dominant when he gets in the paint and gets to the free throw line.

The Celtics have one of the most unique lineups in the league with their ability to shoot the three with their bigs. The only bigs on the Celtics that avoid the three point shot are Brandon Bass and Tyler Zeller, who are arguably the best mid range shooters on the team going at a rate of 55% and 51%.

Mar 20, 2015; San Antonio, TX, USA; Boston Celtics power forward Brandon Bass (30) shoots the ball over San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan (21) during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics will certainly be capable of spreading the floor against any opponent and with teams forced to account for so many shooting threats there will be more openings in the paint.

Despite his small stature Thomas has an incredibly ability to get to the hoop and at the very worst drawing fouls. Thomas is as reliable as anybody shooting 86% from the foul line and that accounts for a lot of points considering he is averaging 7 free throw attempts per game in the last five. And he does so playing off the bench for just 25 minutes per game.

Apr 3, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) drives the ball against Milwaukee Bucks center Zaza Pachulia (27) and guard Michael Carter-Williams (5) in the second half at TD Garden. The Bucks defeated the Celtics 110 to 101. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The threat of the three point shooters can work both ways with Thomas driving. Thomas is the main scorer on the Celtics and he will certainly draw the most attention from the defense. If Thomas starts to dominate in the paint the defense will be forced to compensate and that will open up plenty of three point shots.

When the Celtics are moving the ball well they are at their best. Thomas certainly has the ability to distribute the ball and if the three point shooters start to open up Thomas will have no problem finding them.

The Celtics can generate the most offense when Thomas is driving to the net and running the offense through him is the best way to have success in the playoffs. The Celtics will never be a one man team and they will always get contributions form all over the place but Thomas is the guy that can push them over the top and compete against the best teams in the East.

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