On what would have been his sisters 23rd birthday, Isaiah Thomas put on one of the most historicity dominant performances in NBA history. Finishing with 53 points, he led the Celtics to an 129-119 overtime victory over the Wizards.
To only talk about Thomas’ performance would not do his performance justice. So here is every basket Thomas scored on this night:
Being the shortest player in the NBA is one thing, but the sheer dominance Thomas brings on the offensive side of the ball is something to marvel at. In a game that was riddled with hard fouls and bodies flying left and right, Thomas galvanized his Boston teammates and lead them to victory. Going into the fourth quarter, Boston and Washington were in a dog fight. Boston would take a lead, just to see it evaporate in a three minute span. Then Washington would look to have the lead secure before Boston would storm back and tie the game. Both teams were locked in and hitting big shot after big shot.
Then it was “IT time” and Isaiah “Mr. Fourth Quarter” Thomas is in a league of his own. After coming up big for his team all game, Thomas scored 29 points in the fourth quarter and over time period (Wizards as a team only scored 30 in that same span). He feasted off of Washington’s inability to defend the screen, hitting majority of his shots off mismatches through switches and miscommunication on the part of Washington.
Along with Thomas, four other Celtics players scored in double figures. Including 12 big points by Terry Rozier and 15 points and 12 rebounds from Al Horford respectively. Boston has all the momentum going into Game 3 of this series, seeing as Boston is 34-0 in a series were they lead two games to none.
John Wall had one of the best games of his career. He finished with 40 points, 13 assists, 3, rebounds, 3 steals, and 3 blocks on the night. John was doing everything in his power to leave Boston with a tied series. He attacked Thomas every chance he had and found his teammates open looks off of his ability to penetrate Boston’s defense. Wall was in rare form and became on the second person to score 40+ points and 10+ assists in a playoff game against Boston (Jerry West is the only other player to do so.)
While Game 1 left hope in the Wizards ability to even the series at one game a piece, Game 2 should give Washington a huge cause for concern moving forward. The cause for concern comes in a few areas for the Wizards. For one, Washington has not been able to guard the screen /roll in this series at all! Yes, Thomas is a rare superstar in the league, but with the size Washington has over Boston in every position, there should be no way Thomas comes of screen-after-screen for wide open looks. Far too often Washington would not communicate properly, which would leave a big on Thomas, or nobody at all. Another concern is the rate in which Washington is fouling. Both Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat missed the majority of the fourth quarter and all of the overtime period due to fouling out the game. Kelly Oubre Jr. came mighty close, as he finished with five fouls. Washington as a team committed 29 fouls, many of which were in the act of shooting, sending a great free throw shooting team to the line. The biggest concern for the Wizards has to be the steep drop off in production once they go to their bench. While the bench has been a major question mark the whole season, it has been a glaring issue in this series. In only two games, Oubre alone has a plus/minus of -80. Brandon Jennings has provided nothing Bojan Bogdonavic ended the game scoreless. Washington needs their bench if they want any hope to making it out this round.
Now lets talk about Bradley Beal for a second. While 14 points looks decent on paper, Beal has one of his worst performances of the season. Not only was Beal passing up great shots for horrible shots, he lead the team in turnovers with six and he did not even have the ball in his hands half as much as Wall did. He even had a near wide open look at the end of the game to win it for Washington after rebounding a miss by Wall. Beal had a easy free throw line jump shot that would have changed the whole narrative of this series, but air balled it, sending the game to overtime. His defense has been nothing short of awful this series and it seems he is running from the physical play instead of embracing it. Washington has no chance in this series, let alone winning a game, if Beal continues to play the way he has this series. He, along with Wall, are the engines that drive the Wizards. Without Beal playing like the “max player” Washington needs him to be, it will be short series.
Washington will hope a chance in scenery will get them back to their winning ways, as Game 3 will be in Washington on May 4, at 8 P.M EST.