Isaiah Thomas has arguably been the Boston Celtics’ most important player this season, but his efforts off the bench were not enough to earn him any hardware.
The Celtics point guard finished second Monday in voting for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award, losing out to Toronto Raptors guard Lou Williams.
Williams garnered first-place votes on 78 of the 130 ballots cast to Thomas’ 33. Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford — a two-time winner of the award — finished third.
Here’s a full breakdown of the voting, courtesy of ESPN.com’s Chris Forsberg:
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The fact that Thomas played more than half of the season in the Phoenix Suns’ three-point guard system likely hurt his chances among voters. The 5-foot-9 guard’s scoring and assist averages shot up after he was sent to the Celtics at the trade deadline (an increase of 3.8 points and 1.7 assists per game). There’s also the matter of Thomas’ late-season back injury, which sidelined him for eight games in March.
“He played great for us,” guard Evan Turner said Monday, via the team’s official Twitter account. “If we had finished higher in the standings he probably would have got it.”
Williams, in his first season in Toronto, played in 80 of the Raptors’ 82 regular-season games, averaging 15.5 points per game and posting a 19.9 PER — good for second on the team behind center Jonas Valanciunas.
“Lou Williams is a very good player,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said, via Celtics.com’s Marc D’Amico, “but Isaiah would have been my vote.”
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