Hard work isn't just an action but an attitude, a mantra, a total lifestyle. During his entire basketball career, Isaiah Thomas has personified hard work. At 5'9", Boston's emerging superstar has had to work extra hard to make it to the NBA due to his relatively diminutive stature.

Other than Isaiah, if there's ever been another 60th overall NBA draft pick to go on and average 29.7 points per game then I've never heard of him. As far as basketball is concerned, his very moniker carries a burden of its own on the court, automatically drawing comparisons to NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas off name alone.

Though he's always had the skills to pay the bills with the pill, Thomas has merged with Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens in a perfect coach-player mind-meld the likes of which Kirk and Spock would give a nod to. That connection has the Boston Celtics sitting at second place overall in the Eastern Conference playoff race behind the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers.

Though there have been a myriad of Celtics who have missed time this season, Thomas has been the steady engine of winning up in Beantown. Not only is his 29.7 points per game a career high, but he's also averaging career high in shot attempts, field goal percentage, made three pointers, free throw percentage and assists.

Yesterday, Thomas' 44 points against the Toronto Raptors was his fifth game of 40-points or more this season, and that's not to mentioning the five games where he's scored 38  or 39 points this season. A couple more games like that and he'll be threatening Larry Bird's 29.9 ppg team record for single season scoring.

Unguardable, unflappable and uncanny, in the fourth quarter Isaiah Thomas is playing like one of the five best players in the league this season.