It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog – Mark Twain
As cliché as size metaphors are in sports there isn’t one more apropos than that one for Isaiah Thomas III. The one man show he put on last night against the Wizards is something that has been done by few. I have donned him officially the Young Mamba. He dropped 53 in the New Garden. And of those 53, 29 points in the 4th Quarter and overtime. You know who has scored more than that in a Celtic playoff game: Hondo (John Havlicek). That’s it. He has the most points in a playoff game since Allen Iverson dropped the double nickel in 2003. He did it all with a new tooth to boot.There wasn’t a chance he was going to shy away from the big shot. He wanted the ball, he wanted to be the hero. He sought the spotlight and it wasn’t too bright on him. While this wasn’t a win or go home game — this was in the playoffs against a quality Wizards team that has been giving them the business all night.
Now watch how quickly I drop 50
I don’t like playing, niggas can’t stick me – Jay – Z
Game 2 of the Celtics/Wizards series was a legendary battle of the point gawds with IT coming out the victor. When the 4th Quarter hit he went on ‘extra grind’ and put the Celtics on his back and carried them to victory. There is a backstory to this — IT’s sister who died 2 weeks ago, last night would have been her 23rd birthday. He has the weight of grief that he is carrying as well as a historic franchise. That nor the Wizards defense was enough stop or even slow him down. Scott Brooks looked inept on how to coach and get his team to execute on pick and rolls. Gortat on Young Mamba is a mismatch 10/10 times.
There have been discussion on if a 6’0 (maybe) player can lead a team to a championship. If anyone can it’s him but he does need someone else on that team because the flip side to this story is they need another consistent perimeter scorer. Avery Bradley is a decent shooter and an above average defender but he missed a lot of open shots in the 4th Quarter. In a game that was physical they were unable to get the ball to Horford consistently in the high or low post down the stretch.
The coronation of Young Mamba has begun. He and Russell Westbrook are the closest people we have to Kobe in the league now. He’s a straight assassin and when it’s time to step on the necks of his competition he does not hesitate. That is how you build a legacy — that’s how you become historic, Young Mamba is carving his path to greatness one clutch performance at a time.