Boston Celtics: Isaiah Thomas is the X-Factor


The Boston Celtics acquired guard Isaiah Thomas from the Phoenix Suns last season, and it gave the team an immediate boost.  The Celtics earned a berth into the postseason because of Thomas’ production and energy in the second half of the 2014-2015 season.  Thomas averaged 19 points per game last season in 21 games with the team along with 5.4 assists, and he has committed to become a more well-rounded player.

After leading the C’s to their first playoff berth since 2013, the Cleveland Cavaliers swept them on their way to a finals appearance.  However, Thomas comes into the 2015-2016 season wanting to show the league that he’s an All-Star.

He’s struggled in the first few games of the season, but Thomas is a crucial piece to this Celtics club.  He provides a spark off the bench that is invaluable to a young team trying to find their place in the league.  Thomas’ desire to become a starter has been noted by Head Coach Brad Stevens, but the backcourt of Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart defensively is too important to change.

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Thomas stands at 5-foot-9, which means his defense isn’t as effective as a much larger Marcus Smart. Smart not only has the height to bother other guards, but also had the strength to go up against some of the leagues toughest opponents.

So far in the season, Thomas is shooting 22% from the three-point line, and 36% from the field.  If Thomas wants to become an All-Star like the Boston Celtics hope he will be, he needs to start shooting the ball better.

Thomas has missed easy layups so far this season and for a shooter, layups are vital.  There’s one way to get a scorer going and that’s either getting to the free-throw line or hitting a few easy layups.  His production increases in the fourth quarter and he’s the Celtics go-to guy, even though most people would say that the team doesn’t have one.

But does Thomas have enough to take this team into a deep playoff run?  He’s a spark without question, but over a full season of 82 games it’s hard to sustain the type of production that he has.

Amir Johnson has found a way to work with him in the pick-and-roll and make it one of the more successful plays the Celtics run.  However, Danny Ainge needs to find a consistent second scorer in order for Thomas to really flourish, because the pressure wouldn’t be all on him to put the ball in the basket.

Next: Marcus Smart: Superstar Inbound

Isaiah Thomas is the X-Factor for this team, he takes them as far as he can go.  With a weak eastern conference he has an opportunity to make the All-Star team and elevate his status, along with the Boston Celtics.