2016 Awards Series Sharpshooter: Isaiah Thomas
It’s awards season at Celtics.com! We’re handing out six awards over the next few weeks as we roll through this year’s Celtics.com Awards Series. We may not have trophies or acceptance speeches, but we do have some top-flight Celtics performances to outline. Here we go...
BOSTON – Kelly Olynyk was the best bulk 3-point shooter on the Boston Celtics when it came to percentages. However, Isaiah Thomas was the team’s most feared sharpshooter.
Thomas led the Celtics in both 3-point makes (167) and attempts (465). He led the team by a substantial margin in both categories, as Avery Bradley finished behind Thomas by 20 made 3s and 58 attempted 3s. Olynyk led the team in 3-point shooting at 40.5 percent, while Thomas finished fourth at 35.9 percent.
In order to average a team-best 22.2 points per game, Thomas obviously needed to do a whole lot more than just make 3-pointers. And he did.
The 5-foot-9 point guard put pressure on the defense and got to the line at an impressive rate. He attempted 6.6 free throw attempts per game, which ranked as the 13th-highest rate in the entire NBA. He cashed in on 87.1 of those attempts, which led the Celtics by a landslide and ranked 16th in the NBA among players who attempted at least 150 free throws. His mark was the highest percentage among players who attempted at least 500 freebies.
Thomas was efficient from nearly every area of the court, save for a couple of deep midrange locations. That’s why he ranked third on the Celtics in true shooting percentage and second among perimeter players, behind only Jae Crowder. His true shooting mark was 56.2 percent.
The most impressive part of Thomas’ sharpshooting ways is the fact that he was able to sustain such percentages while shooting so often. He was far and away the team leader in field goal attempts with an average of 16.9 per game. His average was 3.5 shots more than the next-highest average on the team (Avery Bradley, 13.5).
Add it all up, and you’ve got not only the team’s Most Valuable Player, as we already revealed, but also the team’s leading shooter and recipient of the 2015-16 Sharpshooter award.