The King in the Fourth will rule as sixth man in New Orleans, as Isaiah Thomas was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team Thursday.
The one time Celtics sixth man will again come off the bench, joining guards Kyle Lowry, John Wall and Kemba walker in the East reserves. Also making the squad were a pair of Pauls in George and Millsap and Kevin Love.
Thomas becomes the shortest player to ever to make multiple All-Star games, after joining Houston Rockets legend Calvin Murphy last year as the only 5’9 players to make the squad.
Thomas is a worthy pick, as both his basic stats and advanced stats portray an elite player having a nearly unprecedented season. The narrative around him has catapulted him from emerging star to bonafide superstar this year. Considering the irony that the narrative surrounding the Celtics has been that they need to acquire a primary scorer superstar, Thomas put that chip on his shoulder and became exactly that (Little) guy.
Thomas sits in a group with Steph Curry, James Harden and Kyle Lowry with a true shooting percentage over 60% and at least 7 three-point attempts per game, according to Basketball Reference. Before this season, Steph Curry was the only player ever to pull it off.
The Little Guy has been incredibly efficient, scoring 1.073 points per possession in the half court per Synergy over the first half of the season. He is having the third most efficient season by a guard in the last five years, trailing just Lowry this season and Curry in ‘14-’15.
The King in the Fourth leads the league in fourth quarter scoring at 10.1 points per game according to NBA Stats, with Russell Westbrook being the only person within two points at 9.4 ppq. He also leads the league with 3.9 free throws attempts per 4th quarter, an astonishing feat considering DeMarcus Cousins and Russell Westbrook, the two players behind him, essentially spend the last five minutes of every game attacking the rim at 100 miles per hour.
Thomas’ fourth quarter performances are not just a product of him beating up on second units early in the quarter. When factoring for clutch situations he is virtually tied with Russell Westbrook as the most efficient scorer in the league at 0.625 points per possession.
IT is second in the league in points per game at 29.1, putting him within shouting distance of Larry Bird’s franchise record 29.9 ppg from the ‘87-’88 season. Thomas did set a franchise record with his 29 fourth quarter points and nine threes in the game against the Miami Heat on December 30.
It’s been an incredible season for Thomas and he’ll have his chance to announce his newfound superstar status to the world in New Orleans.