How 10 sportswriters tried to capture Isaiah Thomas’s epic night

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How 10 sportswriters tried to capture Isaiah Thomas’s epic night

Post by bobheckler on Wed May 03, 2017 1:56 pm

How 10 sportswriters tried to capture Isaiah Thomas’s epic night

Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas celebrates with fans after defeating the Washington Wizards 129-119 in a second-round NBA playoff series basketball game in Boston, Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Thomas scored 53 in the overtime win, taking a 2-0 lead in the series. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) –AP
By Gary Dzen  1:28 PM

Isaiah Thomas put his 53-point performance against the Wizards into words Tuesday night, dedicating the game to his sister Chyna, who was laid to rest over the weekend.

“Everything I do is for her,” said Thomas.  “And she’s watching over me, so that’s all her.”

Sportswriters tasked with covering the game also tried to put Thomas’s career-high into words, but it wasn’t easy.  ESPN’s Chris Forsberg wrote:

It’s a journalist’s job to find the proper words to put situations like these in perspective. But like Thomas’ coach and teammates, we’re admittedly struggling here. It would seem fair to suggest that Thomas can’t possibly do anything more remarkable than what we saw Tuesday.
Here’s how some other sportswriters described Thomas’s drives and dishes and daggers following his career-high.

— SB Nation’s Paul Flannery

There were so many moments that they all blurred together. Massive threes. A crossover that left Markieff Morris on the ground. Clutch free throws late in regulation that tied the game. Those moments are what he lives for and it’s those moments that sustain him through his grief.
— Deadspin’s Tom Ley

The best thing about watching Thomas take and make whatever shots he feels like is that he seems to know how much his success bothers his opponents. He knows exactly how to get in their heads, and all he has to do in order to drive them nuts is flash a glare or bark, “You can’t guard me!” after a bucket. That’s how he got the best of Michael Carter-Williams in round one, and it’s how he drove Markieff Morris nuts last night.
— The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor

Boston legend Tommy Heinsohn told me before Game 1 of the Wizards-Celtics second-round series there are three Celtics he’s watched in his 82 years that make him say, “How did he do that?”: Bill Russell. Larry Bird. And Isaiah Thomas, which shouldn’t come as a surprise if you witnessed Thomas score 53 points in the Celtics’ 129–119 overtime Game 2 win over the Wizards. It’s not just the tough shots he’s hitting over defenders that provoke that kind of response. How did he do that is the recurring question of Thomas’s postseason.
— FiveThirtyEight’s Chris Herring

After receiving a handoff, he’s a nightmare on the perimeter because of all the different options he has at his disposal. Watch how reluctant Wizards star John Wall is to chase Thomas around the screen here. He doesn’t want to risk barreling into Thomas, who is one of the league’s best players at stopping abruptly once he’s turned the corner in order to draw a 3-point shooting foul.
— SI’s Rohan Nadkarni

But Isaiah. Damn. He was firing on all cylinders in the fourth. He competed defensively. He ran Wall through screens and drained open threes. He slithered into the paint and uncorked soft layups while bouncing off of bigs. And he abused Washington’s big men whenever they dared switching on pick and rolls. There are seemingly no answers for defending Thomas right now. Trap him, and Boston will happily fire away the resulting open threes. Switch, and he’ll turn your bigs into the star of a GIF. Hedge, and he’ll quickly turn the corner and dart into the paint.
— The Boston Globe’s Chad Finn

His grace in the face of tragedy has only enhanced his connection to Boston. Thomas has been a Celtic for not even three full seasons, and yet he is on his way to achieving permanent icon status.
— WEEI’s John Tomase

Thomas was everywhere when it mattered most, drilling 3-pointers, jawing with Wizards defenders twice his size, and scoring at will off the dribble amongst the trees, proving that a 6-10 wingspan is no match for the heart that pounds inside his 5-foot-9 chest.
— The Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett

The King of the Fourth?
And Emperor of the Fifth. Tsar of all the Russias. Certainly Congressman Steve Lynch hopes Thomas doesn’t develop a fondness for his 8th District seat that encompasses Causeway Street.
— Yahoo’s Ben Rorbach

His pull-up jumper with 15 seconds remaining gave Boston its 10-point lead — the C’s largest of the night — and served as the equivalent of Muhammad Ali standing over Sonny Liston. Isaiah Thomas had written his masterpiece in a Celtics uniform on the TD Garden floor on what would have been his sister’s 23rd birthday. Pound for pound, he was the best player in the world on Tuesday night.



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Re: How 10 sportswriters tried to capture Isaiah Thomas’s epic night

Post by worcester on Wed May 03, 2017 2:13 pm

We love you Isaiah.

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Re: How 10 sportswriters tried to capture Isaiah Thomas’s epic night

Post by Shamrock1000 on Wed May 03, 2017 2:45 pm

I think everyone knew they were witnessing an historic performance. Funny thing is, I think he might have another one in him during this playoffs run.


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