He’s only 5-foot-9, but there’s nobody more terrifying in the fourth quarter than Isaiah Thomas. The Bogues-ian Celtics all-star has scored 15 or more points in the 10 fourth quarters this year, twice as many as any other player. He’s averaging 10.5 points in the fourth quarter this year. To put that in perspective, no player has averaged double digits in any quarter in two decades.
He torched the Pistons for 24 earlier this week, and tonight, he did it again, helping the Celtics come back from a 17-point second-half deficit to beat the Raptors with 19 points in the fourth. Thomas was matched up with fellow all-star point guard Kyle Lowry, and he went to work immediately. He dropped 16 in the first, ending it with this pull-up from the dang moon.
Boston then let a close game get out of hand and the Raptors took that big lead, but Thomas reeled them back in sort of by himself, scoring 19 of the team’s 32 in the fourth. Thomas is a rangy three-point shooter off a pass or a dribble as well as a lights-out free-throw guy, but what truly sets him apart is his ability to squeeze into the lane and cause mayhem. He shoots 58 percent at the rim, which is better than Russell Westbrook. Note the speed with which he fearlessly jumps through the defense.
He pulled off an even better layup in the fourth quarter and finished between two help defenders.
The Celtics’ best offense right now is to hand the rock to Thomas and let him cook, which is extremely good for fans, because dude is the most exciting player in the Eastern Conference.