Isaiah Thomas gets his numbers, calls for player accountability
Has Isaiah Thomas taken the next step?
Isaiah Thomas has started off the season scoring 25+ points in three of the Celtics first four games. Although a small sample size, Thomas has proved that he can put up numbers in a hurry and assert himself on the opposing defense.
Thomas put together another quality all-around performance in his first start of the year in a 100-98 loss to the Indiana Pacers last night, scoring 27 points on 9-19 shooting with seven assists and two steals.
Whether he is in the game at tip-off or coming off the bench, Thomas is going to get his minutes, and more importantly, score. There is no doubt early on that he is the team's best offensive weapon. The number of ways that he can score is something that opponents have to plan for. Getting to the line, knocking down outside shots and finishing over taller defenders are just a few options in Thomas' arsenal.
What has been the most eye-opening for me has been Thomas' passing. He is making the correct reads and hitting the open man, not to mention creating space for shooters by driving and getting into the paint. I like to see Thomas finding a balance between picking his spots and getting other people involved. If he really wants to get the nod for his first All-Star appearance, he will have to continue scoring in high volume and start to make the players around him better.
As arguably the best player in Boston right now, Thomas has taken on a leadership roll when it comes to talking about the team's disappointing 1-3 start:
Isaiah Thomas: "We’re not gonna panic, but at the same time, changes need to be made, and we need to as players take accountability."
There is no doubt that something needs to happen. Brad Stevens mixed up the starting lineup against the Pacers, inserting three new players in hopes for improvement. The offense looked a bit more fluidly, but the bench struggled once Thomas and Amir Johnson were bumped up to the first unit.
I am hoping that Thomas speaking up about player accountability will spark this team. It's a new sensation for this young group to have high expectations and this slow start increase the urgency to get things on the right track.