(Jeff Clark): Isaiah Thomas keeps getting better. It defies all kinds of logic. Many were proud of him just for getting drafted 60th. It was a pleasant surprise when he became a rotation player. Then he became a starter and an All-Star, and people figured he was peaking. But he keeps... getting... better. Not sure what else there is to say at this point other than to say I'm done being surprised by Isaiah Thomas. There's no limit to what he could become. Just an amazing player.
#IT52 pic.twitter.com/Mw1PVRNTii— Scott Souza (@Scott_Souza) December 31, 2016
IT (Keith P. Smith): Isaiah Thomas is not a fake All-Star. He's a very, very real one.
Isaiah Thomas makes it 50 #NBAVote pic.twitter.com/uxITnj878q— Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 31, 2016
Confidence game (Lachlan Marr): Originally I was going to write about how the Celtics handled Avery's absence, but Keith's right: there really is only one story here—Isaiah Thomas's incredible game.
Isaiah's fourth-quarter scoring alone seemed to make up for Bradley’s absence. Plus IT's explosive performance almost assured him a spot on the All-Star team for this season. So to all the haters, keep at it—your words only seem to make Isaiah stronger.
IT is the type of player who challenges himself to succeed and then surpasses even his own wildest expectations. He is supremely confident in his abilities, and he truly believes in himself, which allows him to do totally unbelievable things. Isaiah's confidence is a big part of how he does what he does. He simply wills himself to win. Part of this is fueled by the infamous chip that sits firmly atop Isaiah's shoulder, but part of it is just because IT knows he's a star, and he's not afraid to prove it to anyone.
After a performance like that expectations will no doubt be high, and rather than tempering my excitement I'm readying myself to be wowed yet again by the little guy. I'm sure after that game IT's confidence is through the roof, which is a good thing because when Isaiah believes in himself, it seems like he can do just about anything.
Al Horford revenge game (Bobby Manning): It wasn't in the shadow of Isaiah Thomas's game, it was beneath the shadow, underground, behind 100 walls. Al Horford was great tonight after his no-show in Cleveland with 21 points and six rebounds against the Heat. He did hit three of his six three-point attempts, but what wowed me from Horford behind the 52-point nuclear explosion from Thomas was Big Al's low post game. He was showing off shades of the other "Big Al" Jefferson against a sizable, impressive Heat front court. Quick turns, hooks, floaters, strength in backing down bigger defenders—Horford looked right at home in the low block. I know the Brad Stevens offense revolves around three-point shooting, and pulling out big men to the perimeter helps Thomas drive, but the Cs could benefit immensely by getting Horford more post looks. He can seemingly score at will down there if the Cs get higher point totals from him. Even if he just draws more double teams, Horford thrives at passing out of them, which can help further mix up the offensive looks the Celts can give opponents.