Isaiah Thomas lit up the Boston Garden and entered Celtics history with his 53 point outburst in Game 2 against the Wizards. Thomas put a few exclamation points on his claim to enter into the Celtics pantheon of great players — and the Celtics are a team with such a long list of stars you can’t name them all. Bird, Havlicek, Russell, Cousy, Jones, Pierce, Cowens — it’s rich. Thomas may not have the Celtics longevity to join that elite crowd yet, but he’s got the Celtics winning ways imprinted in his mind.
Having scored 53 and getting even Kobe Bryant to say he played with “mamba mentality”, Thomas insisted that scoring big was great and all, but… you gotta bring home the hardware. After Game 2, which Boston had a number of chances to lose, Thomas enters Game 3 in Washington with this attitude about his 53-point game: “It’s nice for your name to be in Celtics history because of all the great players,” Thomas said. “But until you win one of those Championships — you can’t call yourself a great player until you do that. That is the ultimate goal.” After all Thomas has great court vision: when you look around the Boston Garden you see a whole lot of championship banners.