In a matter of a year, Isaiah Thomas has gone from the lovable little guy with a promising future to being one of the best guards in the NBA.

Fully epitomized by his epic outing under the bright lights in a matchup that featured the Boston Celtics battling the Cleveland Cavaliers on the road, Thomas went tit for tat in an epic duel with LeBron James last night, scoring 31 points and hitting the most important shot of the game to rival LeBron’s triple-double.

The aforementioned shot was a three-pointer coming with just under a minute remaining that provided the Celtics with a 99-97 lead over the Cavs.

After Cleveland tied the game up, Thomas quickly went into attack mode and drew a shooting foul, hitting two clutch free throws to ice the game and provide the Celtics with a lead that they did not relinquish.

Just a microcosm of the playmaking prowess that Thomas has showcased all season long, the clutch three-pointer off of the screen exemplified just how dangerous the incredibly quick and wily Thomas can be.

And his tenacious attitude is a primary reason why he has come to be one of the best and brightest point guards in the game. Asked about whether or not he thought the Cavs were able to keep him in check in the game, a question incited by IT4’s 10-20 shooting stat line, Thomas tersely responded, “Nobody holds me in check. I average 30 (points) for a reason.”

He has a point. Technically averaging 29.6 points per game, Thomas trails only Russell Westbrook in that category, but, unlike Westbrook, Thomas is not getting much love in the MVP discussions.

A savvy distributor and a relentless scorer, IT4 is the perfect combination of old school and new school at the point guard spot, and he is the main reason why the Celtics have overcome a slow start to the season to become one of the NBA’s top teams.

Only trailing Cleveland by three games in the East, Boston could definitely shock the basketball world by earning the one seed over the heavily favored Cavaliers and thereafter making a run to the NBA Finals.

With that being said, Thomas, the next face of the Celtics franchise, should be in contention for the NBA MVP Award this season, as one would be hard-pressed to find a player who does all that he does for his team on a nightly basis.

At only 5’9”, Thomas is one of the most diminutive players in the NBA, yet he comes up bigger than just about anybody when on the court. And, in the near future, the little man with a big heart could be named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player.