Isaiah Thomas is one of the most entertaining players in the NBA. He is fearless, a little guy (5’9″) driving and scoring among the trees in the NBA — he finishes well, a career 65% inside the restricted area. He plays hard all the time. He’s once and always the Pizza Guy. He was the No. 1 scoring option for the Celtics when he arrived, a time when the team’s offense was in flux last season. He’s a guy Celtics fans are pumped to see back.
Thomas likely comes off the bench behind Marcus Smart — which is the perfect role for him. He’s not a good enough defender to start, but as a scoring spark plug off the bench that changes the game he’s perfect.
Just don’t expect him to be happy with that role — he has much bigger aspirations for himself. That’s what he told Jay King of MassLive.com.
You have to love his confidence. But the little guy mountain is a tough one to climb.
If we define “little guy” by NBA terms to mean 5’11” or under, then who is the best ever in the NBA?
I think Calvin Murphy sets that bar. The Hall of Famer and All-Star was a 5’9″ point guard who averaged 17.9 points a game in his 15-year NBA career, all with the Rockets. He had a career PER of 18. It’s an impressive resume. (For the record, Allen Iverson was officially 6’0″ and “Tiny” Archibald was 6’1″.) Even the best player 5’11” and under in the NBA right now is Ty Lawson, not Thomas.
But I wouldn’t expect anything less of him than to try to climb that mountain.