Carsen Edwards views Isaiah Thomas as an inspiration: 'He changed the game'

Carsen Edwards views Isaiah Thomas as an inspiration: 'He changed the game'

BOSTON -- An undersized Celtics point guard wearing No. 4 helped spark Boston's offense Wednesday night.

No, this isn't 2017, and no, we're not talking about Isaiah Thomas. The Celtics' new "little guy" is rookie Carsen Edwards, who poured in a career-high 18 points off the bench on 7-of-12 shooting in a 140-133 win over the Washington Wizards.

It was fitting that Edwards' effort came opposite Thomas -- the last Celtic to wear No. 4 prior to Edwards -- who coincidentally added 18 points of his own in his second trip back to Boston since being traded in 2017.

To no one's surprise, the 5-foot-11 Edwards appreciates Thomas' game.

"I used to watch him growing up, and a couple of years back when he was doing his thing," Edwards said after the game. "I’m a big fan of him, just the way he’s able to get his shot."

Like Thomas, Edwards is a second-round pick (No. 33 overall) who comes into the NBA with a chip on his shoulder. But the last pick in the 2011 NBA Draft offers a perfect model for Edwards to follow.

"A guy like him gives guys like me hope: short guys that want to make it," Edwards said. "He changed the game at his height. The things he’s done helped me a lot."

Edwards has a long way to go to become the two-time All-Star Thomas was in Boston.

But the 21-year-old Purdue product has shown an I.T.-like fearlessness early in his NBA career: After going 2-for-13 from 3-point range in his first four games, he's gone 7-for-12 since.

"He’s a guy who I spoke to a few days ago about staying ready,” Celtics guard Kemba Walker said of Edwards. “He was big time tonight, and we needed it. It was a point in time in the game when we was struggling a little bit, and he came in, and he turned us up a little bit."

Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Warriors, which tips off Friday at 9:30 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 10:30 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.

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Celtics Forgotten 50: Important players who played a role in franchise history

Celtics Forgotten 50: Important players who played a role in franchise history

The list of Boston Celtics greats is lengthy, one filled with players whose basketball exploits will live on forever in the minds and hearts of Celtics Nation and basketball fans across the globe. 

But in taking their place as the league’s forebearers of greatness, behind them stood men whose many contributions on and off the court — while not as noticeable — are important when it comes to the narrative surrounding the Boston Celtics franchise and its ascension to becoming the NBA’s first great basketball dynasty. 

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The Celtics have won more NBA titles (17) than any team in league history. That includes a stretch in which they won 11 titles in 13 seasons, the kind of dominance we have not seen since, and will likely never see again.

Bill Russell. Bob Cousy. Larry Bird. 

Those are just some of the names that come to mind right away when conversations steer towards historical excellence among the Celtics franchise. 

But there are so many others whose contributions to the franchise’s success have largely gone ignored, cast aside or simply forgotten about as the sands of time move on when it comes to the growth and evolution of the most storied franchise in NBA history. 

Here we shed some light on those contributors divided into three groups but collectively make up, “The Forgotten 50.”

  • Part 1: The Early Years | Part 2: Behind the Dynasty (coming June 2) | Part 3: Franchise in Transition (coming June 9)

The Tom Brady bump: 'The Match' makes history with huge TV ratings

The Tom Brady bump: 'The Match' makes history with huge TV ratings

Tom Brady has edged Michael Jordan, it appears.

Sunday's "The Match: Champions for Charity" golf match pitting Brady and Phil Mickelson against Peyton Manning and Tiger Woods averaged 5.8 million TV viewers across TNT, TBS, truTV and HLN, according to Turner Sports.

Here's the context behind that number: It makes Sunday's event the most-watched golf telecast in cable television history and the highest-rated program on TV that day.

Remarkably, "The Match" also drew more average viewers than ESPN's "The Last Dance," the 10-part documentary series on Jordan and the Chicago Bulls that averaged 5.65 million same-day viewers per episode.

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For further context: Game 4 of the 2019 World Series averaged 10.2 million TV viewers, less than double the ratings for a charity golf match.

Such is the current sports media landscape with all North American professional sports on hold, though. While "The Last Dance" dug up the past, "The Match" was an actual sporting event featuring four of the biggest names in sports.

Brady obviously was a big draw, as this was one of the quarterback's first public appearances since leaving the New England Patriots to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency.

TB12 didn't exactly light it up on the course -- he and Mickelson lost to Woods and Manning -- but still created plenty of buzz by sinking a miracle shot for birdie, ripping his pants on the course and trading barbs with Manning.

Until sports return in 2020, expect events like these to capture America's full attention.