Nevertheless the video screams loud and clear that recovery is complete and his eyes are on the 2015-16 season.
The current situation Thomas walks into this season is a confusing one. The backcourt a year ago featured Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley as established starters, but after Thomas' arrival he took the high road and continued to come off the bench.
With all that success, the chip on Thomas’ shoulder was still present. A ruthless competitor, he did make it known last year that his desire is to start and many guessed his split with Phoenix had something to do with that as well.
He hasn't publicly mentioned it yet, but it wouldn't blow my mind if he comes into training camp this fall expecting to be Boston’s starting point guard. That would create quite an issue for management and Stevens.
Thomas was a weapon, averaging 19.0 PPG with 5.4 APG and 2.1 RPG on 41% shooting in 21 games with the green. But, it would be inexcusable to send Smart to the bench with his potential upside to be a star for the C’s.
Bradley, too, would be tough to stick on the pine coming off his most impactful two way season shooting 43% with 13.9 PPG; while balancing that with his usual defensive aggressiveness.
Thomas has been able to use his lack of height as a driving force for his confidence and success as an unlikely pro, but its also hard to ignore. The fact that he is 5'9'' makes him a difficult fit in a NBA starting lineup even for all his playmaking brilliance.
I’m not ripping the team for acquiring him and going away from tanking like some have, because asset building is crucial to Ainge’s core philosophy. What makes Thomas different from the typical asset is his life-size confidence and edge, which is both refreshing and a challenge.
The guard logjam is just another problem Boston will have to grapple with going into a complicated 2015-16. In a star driven NBA, talent has to be accommodated.
For that reason, it would be tough to imagine a starting request by Thomas being denied.
Despite some of the issues that may come up with this, Thomas still remains Boston’s most valuable asset while Smart remains their most convincing prospect. A starting tandem between the two would be interesting, especially considering their relentless drives and love for the game, along with their cohesive skill-sets.
Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Smart would make an intriguing starting duo. Photo Credit: Jim Davis, Boston Globe
At the moment, 2015-16 appears as if it'll be another year for Boston to push their internal talent while waiting to land a big name when one becomes available. Quite like Houston’s long wait for James Harden in the years after Yao Ming.
No matter where he plays, though, this video is yet another indication that Thomas is still fully committed to elevating himself. That has to be convincing for a Celtics team that has bought heavily into him.
Starting from scratch with this hoop ish.. Breaking down every lil part of my game and going all in to improve. I gotta get it type urgency!