Isaiah Thomas and Kemba Walker have been nothing short of spectacular this season, and that simply can’t be denied.
The two point guards have been excellent this campaign for the Boston Celtics and the Charlotte Hornets, respectively. And both have been performing at a very high level of late, to the point they’re making a strong case to be selected in the 2017 NBA All-Star Game during February.
Both players dazzled during Tuesday’s slate of games. Thomas was Boston’s star in the Celtics’ OT 112-109 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. The point guard carried the team and finished with a career-high 44 points, including 36 after halftime, and once again he proved he’s able to lead the offense in crunch time.
On the other hand, Kemba was even better against Los Angeles Lakers. LA dominated the first half, but Charlotte stormed back in the second half to finish with a 117-113 win. Walker finished the game with 28 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds, and he looked downright dominant in the final minutes. Once again he proved to be Charlotte’s most important player.
It might be easy to speak about only one game, but both have been extremely consistent this year. Thomas and Walker have emerged as two of the best point guards in the Eastern Conference right now, and even though Kyle Lowry and Kyrie Irving might be a bit more popular, the reality is that Kemba and Isaiah are right there with them in terms of skills.
We could take a look at the numbers to see just how good they’ve been this year:
Thomas (BOS): 25,9 points, 6.0 assists, 2.6 rebounds, 43,2% FG, 34,0% 3PT FG
Walker (CHA): 22,4 points, 5.3 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 46,4% FG, 41,4% 3PT FG
Irving (CLE): 23,8 points, 5,0 assists, 3,1 rebounds, 48,1% FG, 42,5% 3PT FG
Lowry (TOR): 21,2 points, 7,4 assists, 4,7 rebounds, 45,4% FG, 44,9% 3PT FG
We can see things are pretty even. Thomas leads all the aforementioned players in scoring, Lowry leads in assists, 3PT FG and rebounds and Irving leads in FG percentage. Walker might not lead in any category, but he’s either second or third in all of them.
Any time you can go toe-to-toe with some of the best players at the position it’s a good thing. And that’s exactly what Walker and Thomas have done this season. While it’s pretty unlikely that the East will have four point guards in the All-Star Game, the fact that there aren’t a lot of quality shooting guards should boost their cases.
The NBA needs to find a way to put both Kemba and Thomas in the All-Star Game. Otherwise, it would mark another season where the league makes a big mistake when it comes to selecting players to the biggest event of the season. And that can’t happen again considering the snubs we’ve seen in recent years.