BOSTON (CBS) — The unbelievable run that Isaiah Thomas is on right now is something basketball lifers haven’t seen — ever.
The Celtics’ miniature scoring machine is averaging 28.4 points per game, but even more impressive is the fact that 10.1 of those points come in the fourth quarter. Celtics play-by-play man Mike Gorman joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Wednesday, as the C’s get ready to host the New York Knicks on Wednesday night, and said Isaiah is finally getting the recognition he deserves around the league.
“He wants to be acknowledged, and I don’t blame him. He was relegated to kind of sideshow status early in his career; he’s a little guy who can score, but he’ll never be able to do this for a good team. Now he’s showing that he can do this for a very good team,” said Gorman. “The Celtics are 12-3 in their last 15 games, and the reason they’re 12-3 is because of the play of Isaiah.”
Thomas is averaging 31.3 points for the month of January, hitting nearly 50 percent of his shots from the floor and 47 percent from three-point range over the last seven games. Gorman has seen a lot of basketball in his 30+ years of doing Celtics broadcasts, but he’s never seen anything like what Thomas is doing in the fourth quarter this season.
“I can’t, to be honest, put it in perspective. You know I’ve been doing this since the year of the flood, and I’ve never seen anything like this. Covering Bird, KG, Paul and Ray, and everything in between, watching Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson from afar, I’ve never seen anyone do what Isaiah is doing. He’s averaging in the fourth what 80 percent of the players in the NBA average in a game. It’s remarkable what he’s been able to accomplish,” he said. “When you get a chance to sit close to the action and appreciate the fact this guy is 5-foot-9, out there running around with a bunch of guys who are 6-foot-5 to seven feet, tremendous athletes in their own right, yet he does whatever he wants when he wants to do it. And he does it with a smile on his face. It’s a remarkable show that’s going on, unlike anything I’ve ever seen in basketball.”
Gorman said Thomas is the top closer in the NBA, and thinks he is a piece the Celtics can build around.
“I don’t think there’s any question the Celtics want to keep Isaiah, and I don’t think there’s any question Isaiah wants to play here. He just wants to be acknowledged and get the money he deserves,” he said. “I think you can [build around him]. That’s not to say they might not get a player than Isaiah to complete the mix. If you go by that theory that you need three very good players to win an NBA championship, at the least, Isaiah is your No. 2 guy.”