The Boston Celtics started their rebuilding process when they traded Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in 2013 to Brooklyn. Since that moment, they were willing to make the team great again, and signed Coach Brad Stevens to have a new vision of the team in 2013. In the 2013-14 season, they ended up with a record of 25-57 and they did not make the playoffs. But for the Celtics were not planning to be a losing team for long. In the 2014-15 season, they made the playoffs with a 40-42 record and they held the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference. With a tough faceoff versus the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round, they lost 4-0. But 2015 was a wonderful year for them because not did only they made the playoffs, it showed them what they needed to do if they want to make the postseason again. In a focused 2015-16, the young core of the Celtics made the playoff once again, securing the 5th seed with a record of 48-34. However, they lost 4-2 versus the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Now, in this 2016-17 season, what are the goals of the Boston Celtics?
Entering the 2016-17 the Boston Celtics prepared a great roster composed by the growing star, Isaiah Thomas, two way players like Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley, lockdown defender in Marcus Smart and great athletic rookie Jaylen Brown. Combining this with the great coaching staff and front office, it made the Celtics a top 3 Eastern Conference team, as they too added in the offseason the center star from Atlanta, Al Horford. The addition of Horford and his versatility was not enough to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, until Isaiah Thomas became the Celtics Freak, Mr. Fourth Quarter and the new franchise player. GM Danny Ainge in the past few years was seeking a star to build the team around, and he bid in IT.
Isaiah Thomas Career:
The 5 feet 9 inches guy, Isaiah Thomas was drafted 60 in the 2011 NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings. In his Sacramento era he averaged 15.3 pts, 4.8 ast, 2.5 reb, 1.0 stl with .447 fg%. After 3 season with the Kings in July of the 2014 they traded IT to the Phoenix Suns in a sing and trade deal for the rights Alex Oriakhi. With the Suns Thomas played 46 games, and averaged 15.2 pts, 3.7 ast, 2.4 reb, 1.0 stl and a .426 fg%. In February 2015, the Suns decided to trade 2 of his trio guard combination, and this is when Isaiah Thomas landed in Boston. In his first season with the Celtics he averaged 19 pts, 5.4 ast, 2.1 reb, 0.6 stl and .411 fg%, in his second year in Boston Thomas average 22.2 pts, 6.2 ast, 3.0 reb, 1.1 stl with .428 fg %. In addition of his second year with the Celtics, he became an All-Star player when he was selected to play the NBA All-Star game in 2016. The stats show how he is developing his game through the years. With that being said, what can we expect for the rest of the season?
Thomas from the beginning of the season 2016-17 was decided to play in All-Star level making his career high in points, assist, field goal percentage and free throw percentage. Isaiah is averaging 29.9 pts, 6.3 ast, 2.7 reb, 0.8 stl with a .470 fg%, .388 3P% and a .916 ft% making his second time in the NBA All-Star game, and a contender for the Most Value Player(MVP) of the year. Meanwhile, Thomas is becoming the King of the Fourth, averaging 10 points per game in the 4th quarter. Also he has scored at least 20 points in the 4th quarter four times this season. Thomas led the Celtics to the second seed in the East Conference only behind the past NBA champions the Cleveland Cavaliers.
So, this lands a big question…
Can Isaiah Thomas and his Celtics dethrone Lebron James and the struggling Cavaliers?
( Stats provided by Basketball Reference)