Named after legendary basketball player and infamous NBA executive Isiah Thomas, current player Isaiah Thomas has surely come into his own this season. The third-year point guard for the Sacramento Kings is averaging a psychotic 20.7 points a game on the season, not to mention he’s on fire right now.
“He has that sort of sixth sense and that extra gear and that change of speed that makes it really difficult to guard him,” said Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle earlier today. And Carlisle should know, as it was Thomas who scored 19 points in a January game against Dallas that the Mavericks were too lucky to win.
“We had to scramble our [expletive] off to win that game,” said Carlisle. The Mavericks are obviously a better team than the basement-dwelling Kings, but the reason the Mavericks find it so hard to defeat Sacramento is the matchup problems they bring to the table. “Defensively, we have a real challenge with those guys,” said Mavericks forward Jae Crowder.
At 5-foot-9, Thomas’ mini-explosiveness, so to speak, creates a serious homework assignment for the Mavericks’ coaching staff. He can zoom by Dallas’ defense or he can use his above-average playmaking abilities to find DeMarcus Cousins for an easy bucket inside.
Rick Carlisle, being the mad scientist of a head coach that he is, will definitely devise a formula for containing Thomas.
It’s all easier said than done, but, as Carlisle said, “It’s a five-man responsibility.” And all five Mavericks on the American Airlines Center court will have their hands full tomorrow night trying to contain the young point guard with the legendary name.