On Tuesday night, Isaiah Thomas scored a remarkable 53 points (29 in the 4th quarter and OT), 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals on route to a 129-119 victory over the Washington Wizards. This was the most points scored in a playoff game since Allen Iverson dropped 55 points against the New Orleans Hornets in 2003. The Boston Celtics now take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series.
After the game, Isaiah told reporters that he has been receiving tips and pointers from playoff legend, Kobe Bryant. Isaiah further explained that Kobe has helped him break down game film and how to find weaknesses in his opponents.
For all 20 years of his decorated career, Kobe was known not as just a player of the game, but a student of it as well. Student, in a sense, is an understatement. The Mamba was a valedictorian of the game.
Bryant was one of those players who would stay up all night studying his opponents, digging at every possible way to beat them, especially in the playoffs. He was a rat in the gym. The result? Five NBA Championships.
NBA fans have noticed how Isaiah has elevated his game in the first eight games of the postseason. In the second round, he has put up a total of 86 points in the first two games. This is the highest point total in the first two games in a playoff series in Celtics history.
Bryant faced a ton of turmoil and criticism throughout his career, but was able to leave his problems off the court. In a dark time in Thomas’ life, he has been able to overcome all adversity and put his heart out on the floor, just as Kobe did throughout his career.
The Mamba has proven to be a great mentor for Thomas so far, and the stats have shown. Isaiah truly believes that he is the best player on the court at all times and he isn’t afraid of anything. This is known as a “Mamba Mentality.”