Isiah Thomas’ 1990 postseason ranked among NBA’s best individual playoff runs

Kevin Pelton of ESPN ranked the best individual postseasons since 1978, and Isiah Thomas’ 1990 playoffs placed No. 26:

Thomas was at his best in the playoffs during the second of the Pistons’ back-to-back championship runs in large part because of a well-timed hot streak beyond the arc. A 29 percent career 3-point shooter, Thomas went 11-of-16 (68.8 percent) from downtown as Detroit took care of Portland in five games. Thomas averaged 27.6 points and 7.0 assists in the series.

This is why people who are overly reliant on statistics sometimes underrate Thomas. Most statistical analysis for ranking players historically – besides “count the ringzzzzzz” discussions, which are technically statistically based – uses only regular-season numbers.

But Thomas had a real ability to elevate his game in the most crucial situations, and that should count for quite a bit. I’m fine with dismissing most clutch numbers, because they come from too small of samples, but Thomas’ playoff production was proven during 111 games. His 1990 postseason was just the best of many excellent playoff runs.

Tags: Isiah Thomas