2018 Player Capsule: Isaiah Thomas
It was an arduous season for Isaiah Thomas, who didn’t debut until January due to a right hip injury, and then traded from Cleveland just a month later.
Thomas’ ailment subtracted much of his trademark explosiveness, as he conceded not feeling 100 percent during his 17 games with the Lakers — a stint that ended with him undergoing hip surgery three weeks before the season ended.
During his brief tenure, he did fill an area of need for the Lakers by serving as the second-unit point guard.
While Isaiah Thomas said his hip isn't at 100% health and that he doesn't have "all the power and explosiveness" he did last year, he flashed a bit of his trademark gear-shifting style in Dallas.— Joey Ramirez (@JoeyARamirez) February 12, 2018
: https://t.co/baRR8QOkAX pic.twitter.com/lN9Fyuw3Mv
Thomas averaged 15.6 points and 5.0 assists for L.A., though he shot just 38.3 percent from the field and 32.7 from 3-point range.
He showed a constant ability to penetrate the defense and draw help defenders before dishing the ball to open shooters, cutters and rollers.
As such, he was able to buoy bench units when injuries to Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram left the Lakers short on playmakers.
Brook Lopez (27 pts) had a huge game last night, and a lot of that stemmed from his two-man game with Isaiah Thomas.— Joey Ramirez (@JoeyARamirez) March 8, 2018
IT constantly penetrated the defense, drew the attention of Lopez's man and dished to Brook for an open bucket.
: https://t.co/sAJUjbekQl pic.twitter.com/VQqUJFAtWk
By the Numbers
29: Points scored in a win over Miami on March 1. Thomas reached his season-high by dropping six 3-pointers, while dishing six assists.
109.7: Thomas’ defensive rating, which (in a small sample size) was worst on the team.
109.8: Thomas’ offensive rating, which was best on the team. His presence on the court ended up being a slight net positive, statistically speaking.
Isaiah Thomas' three triples to start the fourth quarter? All off screens from Ivica Zubac.— Joey Ramirez (@JoeyARamirez) March 2, 2018
They've developed a nice two-man game, with Thomas accounting for 15 pts and 3 ast off Zubac screens last night.
: https://t.co/O865M1s7Lu pic.twitter.com/FVKjgUFL9A
Thomas’ upcoming free agency is one of the most unpredictable of any player in the league.
Just a year ago, he appeared to be heading toward a max contract after averaging the NBA’s third-most points (28.9) in an MVP-caliber season for Boston. But his hip injury has created much uncertainty heading into the summer.
Recovery from Thomas’ successful surgery is expected to keep him out till July.
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