In Sunday's Game 1 loss, Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 22 points and 10 assists in his first-ever postseason appearance. Thomas also went 8-for-8 at the free-throw line and tied for second on the team in rebounds with five. As far as all-around playoff debuts go, it actually ranks among the more prolific in NBA history:
I haven't looked it up, but I'd be willing to bet neither LeBron James or Oscar Robertson came off the bench in their games. In fact, Thomas is just the third bench player in 25 years to score 20 points and dish out 10 assists in the playoffs.
Thomas did commit five turnovers though, including three in the final minute of the third quarter. One of which (pictured above) led to a James Jones three-pointer that made it a 15-point game heading into the fourth. Had Thomas called timeout after diving on the floor, Brad Stevens could've had 14 seconds to set up one of his world-famous ATO plays to potentially cut the deficit to 10.
Despite the turnovers, Thomas was still Boston's best player. He logged 32 minutes off the bench, a season high for him since joining the Celtics.
Here's the thing though: LeBron played 42 minutes for the Cavs. Kyrie Irving was on the court for 41. Forgotten man Kevin Love even managed 33. Superstars get big minutes in the playoffs--that's how good teams win games.
Thomas is the closest thing Boston has to a superstar, and if the C's are going to put up a fight in this series he's going to have to play like it. However, that starts with him being on the floor long enough to do so.