With the MVP race getting closer as the end of the season looms near, the likes of Russell Westbrook and James Harden are reportedly leading the charge for the coveted award, but former NBA great Ray Allen had another name in mind.
“Right now, I’d have to say Isaiah Thomas,” Allen told Rich Eisen in his show for Audience Sports. “I like Isaiah, and I’m biased because it is Boston. He’s done a tremendous amount for that team for them to be where they are in the Eastern Conference and them playing the type of basketball that they’re playing. They look like they’re definitely gonna have a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals, for sure. And then you take him off that roster and I don’t know how successful they would be. Even though they have a lot of good talent on that team, he’s definitely the spark, the engine that makes their team go.”
Thomas is a legitimate candidate, and while Allen is indeed biased because of his history in Bean Town, a case can be made for him any other year — especially when he’s had such a deep impact on his team’s performance this year.
The 5-foot-9 dynamo has also improved his scoring average by seven points from last season, including shooting career-bests all-around; developing into a lethal three-point shooter and an assassin from the free-throw line at 91.1 percent.
In any year where two monsters weren’t racking up triple-doubles like it was a rent collection service, Allen could have a very fair pick in Isaiah Thomas, who finds himself an outsider looking in for the 2016-17 award.
Thomas is averaging 29.2 points, 6.0 assists, and 2.6 rebounds per game, while making a career-high 3.2 three-pointers per game at a 38.3 percent rate.