Following one of the great Boston Celtics campaigns in modern history, Isaiah Thomas came away this week with a unique award from the NBPA. In the Players Voice awards, the NBPA body of the league’s players voted Thomas the Clutch Performer of the year.
Give us OT with IT. The Clutch Performer goes to @Isaiah_Thomas. #PlayersVoice pic.twitter.com/QDR4YOHZev— NBPA (@TheNBPA) August 18, 2017
“Isaiah Thomas had an amazing season,” Portland Trail Blazers star C.J. McCollum said in the announcement video. “Scoring the ball; distributing the ball; some of the things he did this season will be remembered forever.”
Thomas also made second team All-NBA after finishing just behind James Harden for third in the NBA in scoring with 28.9 points per game in just 33.8 minutes per game. Thomas was the one of the league’s most efficient and dominant scorer in the clutch this year, finishing second behind Russell Westbrook in points in clutch scenarios per NBA Stats. Thomas made more threes (20) in the clutch while shooting 40% and made the most free throws (75) while shooting 90.4%. Thomas’ 30-14 was the best team record in the clutch in the league (68.2%) among players with at least 41 games in clutch scenarios.
Thomas wasn’t the only Celtics winner at the Players Voice awards, as former Celtic Gerald Green was voted the best teammate by the rest of his locker room. Green was iconic in the Celtics’ relatively small locker room this year, being a source of stability, inspiration, swag, and consistency. Green was frequently lauded for his stay-ready approach and his willingness to be a veteran leader from the end of the bench.
EAST— NBPA (@TheNBPA) August 18, 2017
The teammate with the biggest impact on and off the court. Check out the #PlayersVoice Award winners for Best Teammate. pic.twitter.com/F1UFnt6Qdu
Green was rewarded for his patience when coach Brad Stevens elevated him to the starting lineup in Game 3 against the Chicago Bulls when Amir Johnson ended up being untenable in the first-round of the NBA Playoffs. Green would eventually explode for 18 points in Game 4 and then 16 points in a blowout Game 6 to win the series. He finished the playoffs with 7.5 points per game in 14.8 minutes while shooting 46.7% from three.
Despite some solid production in the playoffs, Green remains unemployed. He will turn 32 on January 26, but still has plenty of bounce left. He displayed enough playmaking ability and off-ball hustle to be useful when called upon, although his defensive inconsistency left him on the outside looking in most of the time. There has been no word on where Green will play next year, but it would be surprising to see him miss out on a camp invite.
CelticsBlog did a deep dive into Green’s journey back to the NBA before the season, which is worth checking out to see why Green will fight for another shot in the NBA this year.