How and Why Isaiah Thomas Tackled the One-Footed Jumper

By now, we all know Isaiah Thomas has been working on expanding his bag of offensive tricks. It sounds like Celtics' Coach Brad Stevens has given his stamp of approval.

Thomas' summer endeavor of perfecting the one-footed jumper came at the hands of a catalyst you wouldn’t expect (or probably guess). Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach dug deeper to unveil his “Coach” and discussed the benefits of the one-footer for the 5’9er.

During off-season workouts in California, Chris Jent (former player, assistant for the Sacramento Kings and current NBA D-League Head Coach) suggested Thomas add the jumper into the mix.

Building on his feeling that Thomas already stands out amidst competitors in the league, Jent felt he could elevate his game even further by mastering the one-footer.  

For any point guard in the NBA, you have to have an option before you get to those bigs, and you just need to be sure what’s most comfortable to you. And for Isaiah, a one-footer, when I saw him doing it, it just looked comfortable. It just looked like it made sense to him. And that’s all you want.

While developing the shot, Thomas drew inspiration from future hall-of-famers and one-footed jumper experts, Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki:

I mean, it’s different, the only guys that really do it are guys like Dirk Nowitzki, guys that are a little taller — well, a lot taller than me. But if you watch Steve Nash’s film, he did it a lot. And in different ways, too.

So, what can Thomas potentially gain from adding this shot to his portfolio? According to Jent, it adds versatility. A strong offensive player consistently finds ways to beat their opponent on the defensive end. It sounds elementary but it’s not just about how you move – your shot selection, lefty or righty, etc – but how quickly you execute once you’ve committed to it. Though a one-footed shot might look accidental, more than likely it’s very much the opposite and requires more finesse and calculation than your typical jump shot.

Jent explains the logic to Himmelsbach:

As you come off as a left-handed player, you feel that right foot hit the ground and hop into your shot, and you’re getting into it quickly. Whereas if you just used a typical two-footer pull-up, you’re giving the defender a split-second more.

Thomas reveals the key to ensuring it feels second-nature for him:

If you have your balance, it’s just like you’re going off of two feet.

Isaiah’s one-footer didn’t make an appearance in either of the two Celtics’ games in Europe but he debuted it in Wednesday night’s preseason win against the Nets.

In my opinion, a craftier Thomas will definitely increase the Celtics' offensive production. Do you think the one-footed jumper will make an impact on Thomas’ game and therefore the team’s offense?

Follow Steph on Twitter @StephMBenz
Read more from Steph on Celtics Life

Photo credit:, AJ Mast/AP Photo and