March 12, 2017

The King of the Fourth


Corey Blum ‘18
Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, also known as “The King of the Fourth,” is having a career year.
The 5’9” former University of Washington Husky has dominated the fourth quarter this season, garnering him the admiration of the league’s best. He has become the talk of the National Basketball Association and is called on frequently to make game-changing plays. Thomas is averaging a league-leading 10 points per game in the fourth quarter. When the fourth quarter starts, Boston knows it’s Thomas time.
Not only have his fourth quarter results been spectacular, but his 29.9 points per game average is behind only Thunder guard Russell Westbrook. The last Celtic to average 29.9 points per game for an entire season was Larry Bird, one of the all-time great NBA players.
Thomas has become what the Celtics have been looking for since they traded franchise legends Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
Even if Thomas’ impressive statistics weren’t enough, he is doing it all standing many inches below his peers. He is an example of heart over height and has led Boston to the second seed in the Eastern Conference, trailing only the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers.
Thomas made his second consecutive All-Star game this year. Although he wasn’t a starter, he certainly deserved the honor, as he earned the most votes of all guards from the coaches and the second most votes from the players.
The reason he wasn’t named a starter was because he came in third in the fan vote. If Westbrook and Rockets guard James Harden were not each having such exceptional years, Thomas would likely be in the MVP conversation. As it stands, Thomas has been named Eastern Conference player of the week twice and player of the month once and is ranked fifth in MVP voting.
Last season, Thomas was doubted by many critics who wondered if he was good enough to be a superstar. As his game has improved, Thomas has put the haters to rest. Cavaliers forward LeBron James even said, “ [The Celtics] got a clear-cut star and that's Isaiah.”
Hall of Famer Allen Iverson, who was an MVP and prolific scorer, is one of Thomas’ biggest fans. The former 76ers point guard endorsed Thomas for the All-Star game; being six feet tall, Iverson understands the difficulties of being small.
Thomas has overcome a lot of doubt to become one of the most electric scorers in the league. His clutch nature has made him one of the most exciting to watch in the NBA. Thomas has an opportunity to become a Celtics legend; an incredible honor, as the Celtics are one of the most storied franchises in history.
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