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Isaiah Thomas Once Again Own Grizzlies in this Season's Surprise Rivalry

Isaiah Thomas is willing the Celtics into relevance in the East again.

Sure, sure. The ongoing Cavaliers v. Warriors feud is the best rivalry in the NBA, if not in all of sports, but don't sleep on this season's B-side tet-a-tet between the Celtics and the Grizzlies. The short-term rivals played two stellar games within a week's span. The C's stole one in The Bluff City on December 20, when Isaiah Thomas went bananas and dropped 36 of his career best 44 in the second half.


They met in Boston last night and the game was a well-played late-arriving Christmas gift attended by your humble VICE Sports blogger. (Along with a bunch of other kelly green clad folk, the TD Garden was a-rockin'.)

It was a close back-and-forth affair until the final minute type of game in which a very tall man made a bunch of long-range shots.

And a very short man took body shots.

And it didn't slow him down one bit. Thomas picked up right where he left off in Memphis. Last night, under a minute left, Thomas's fearless drive into the literal guts of James Ennis III sealed the win. Boston's little man is having a big season, currently dropping 26.8 ppg for 7th best in the NBA. More importantly, after a middling start in Boston, he's willed the now-healthy Celtics to 19-13, good for third in the East as the calendar flips.

Marc Gasol dazzled, finishing with 26/4/9, but Thomas countered with 21 and 7 the hard way as the Celtics swept the season series.

My fellow family member, 15-year-old 5'6" point guard Edward Kurowski of the greater Chicago area, described the performance of the 5'9" Thomas as "very physical, crafty, and he always found a way score. I was impressed."

We eagerly await the Celtics-Grizzlies NBA Finals.