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Isaiah Thomas vs. Kyrie Irving: Who's The Better Player? The Tale of Two Point Guards From The 2011 NBA Draft

By Dave W. Paulson
on Mar 03, 2017 09:40 AM EST
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Isaiah Thomas vs. Kyrie Irving is a rivalry that will be talked about for years to come. They are two of the best players in the world today and their teams are expected to meet in this year's Eastern Conference Finals.

Here is the tale of two point guards from the 2011 NBA Draft. The future of the NBA is here and the rivalry to look for in the next several years - Isaiah Thomas vs. Kyrie Irving.

The Tale

Kyrie Irving was selected first overall in the 2011 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was hyped as the next superstar in the league and he has shown it in his first six seasons despite all the injuries he suffered in his young career.

Irving currently has the best handles in the game and his finishing at the rim with both hands is unparalleled. He has the scorer's mentality and he is capable of exploding at any given night. He has also shown that he is a clutch player as evidenced by last year's NBA Finals.

On the other hand, Isaiah Thomas was an unknown in the 2011 NBA Draft but he was still selected 60th overall by the Sacramento Kings. He was the last pick of the draft and few believed that a 5-foot-9 guard can make it far in the NBA.

However, Thomas proved the doubters wrong as he established himself as one of the best sixth men in the league during his tenure with the Kings and Phoenix Suns. When he arrived in Boston, it took some time before he became the team's star but he has made the leap this season.

The Accomplishments

Kyrie Irving is more accomplished than Isaiah Thomas because he was the Cavaliers' main man since the 2011-12 season. He is already a four-time All-Star, the 2014 All-Star Game MVP, one-time All-NBA Third Team selection and an NBA champion. "Uncle Drew" is also the 2012 Rookie of the Year and an NBA champion.

Meanwhile, Thomas has to fight his way out of Sacramento and Phoenix before turning into an All-Star in Boston. He is two-time All-Star and he will surely be named to an All-NBA team this season. He also deserves to get some MVP votes this season due to his play with the Celtics.

The Numbers

Isaiah Thomas is averaging 29.6 points and 6.2 assists this season while Kyrie Irving is at 24.7 points and 5.9 points. Thomas is the No. 1 option in Boston while Irving is the second fiddle to LeBron James in Cleveland.

Although they seemed to be equals at this point, Thomas has taken his game to another level. He is the current king of the fourth quarter, averaging 10.5 points, while Irving ranks 19th at 5.9 points, per NBA Stats.

It is clear that Irving is the more popular player but Thomas is the second-best scorer in the league this season. He is a legitimate MVP candidate and his play has not only improved the Celtics in the standings but they are real threats to the Cavaliers in the East.

In the most recent Isaiah Thomas vs. Kyrie Irving matchup on Wednesday, the Celtics edged out the Cavaliers, 103-99, at the TD Garden in Boston that had a playoff-like atmosphere. Thomas exploded for 31 points and five assists while Irving had 28 points, per NBA.com.

After the game, Thomas had a great quote that showed why his confidence is the difference maker. His hard work clearly had a role in his improvement but the way he believes that he is the best player takes his play to the next level.

"Nobody holds me in check. I made plays. I average 30 points for a reason," Thomas said, via ESPN.

Isaiah Thomas is the better player at the moment but Kyrie Irving will be the greater player when it's all said and done. Nevertheless, fans are always going to tune in and watch every time the game features Isaiah Thomas vs. Kyrie Irving.

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