By Brian Robb, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Isaiah Thomas is in the midst of his second straight career year, and he earned more recognition on Monday from the league for his impressive play by being named Eastern Conference Player of the Week.
The All-Star led the Celtics to a 3-1 record in the past week, with road wins over three likely playoff teams (Memphis, Indiana and New York). Thomas topped the Eastern Conference in scoring during that stretch with 33.3 points per game, including a career-high 44 points in Memphis on Tuesday night.
The 27-year-old has not only been scoring at a high rate, but has done it efficiently of late. He shot 48.8 percent from the field and made 90.7 percent of his free throw attempts (10.8 per game) over the last seven days as well. He also ranked sixth in the league in assists per game (7.3), all coming mere days after he returned from a groin injury that sidelined him for two weeks.
“We’re not where we want to be yet, but we’re getting there,” Thomas told reporters Sunday after scoring 27 points against the Knicks. “We’re putting ourselves in a good position. We’ve just got to keep playing the right way and keep believing in each other and then go from there.”
The weekly award should make Thomas feel particularly good after the All-Star felt like he was snubbed in November after not being nominated for Eastern Conference Player of the Month. He was not among 10 nominees for the honor despite ranking second in the conference in scoring (28.8 ppg).
The 5-foot-9 guard will have to remain at his best this week for the Green as the Celtics host the league’s top ranked defense on Tuesday (Grizzlies) before facing off with the defending champions on the road Thursday night.
Brian Robb covers the Celtics for CBS Boston and contributes to NBA.com, among other media outlets. You can follow him on Twitter @CelticsHub.