Isaiah Thomas got out quickly yesterday torching the Wizards for five 3’s in the first 13 minute of the game, and it looked as if he might go legend again. Until the Wizards adjusted, remembered they were Death Row DC and completely locked up and erased Thomas in the second half.
But Thomas didn’t get to the free throw line once the entire game. A little odd that a guy who was fifth in free throw attempts didn’t get to the line once yesterday in a playoff game. A little odd, and after it happened Thomas wanted the refs to make sure it doesn’t happen again:
Just part of that glorious playoff tradition of complaining to the officials to get calls for the next game, especially when you’re going back home. He just didn’t have a great slogan like, “take that for data!”
Overall, the Celtics took just three fewer free throws than the Wizards did, so this is just a one off that he’s looking to correct as opposed to a larger issue or a conspiracy. If he doesn’t shoot another free throw the rest of the series, then we can have a discussion as to why an elite player like that doesn’t get the calls that other elite players do. But right now, that’s not the case. He does get the calls. Just not yesterday.
And as he admitted, that’s not the reason they lost. The refs aren’t the ones that allowed that 26-0 run to the Wizards that put this game away, the Celtics did. And it’s not the refs fault Boston doesn’t have another guy who can pick up the slack and take pressure off Thomas when the Wizards run three guys at him and mug him.
Of course they’re going to do that. They’re a physical team. And they’re going to be physical with the other team’s best player. Especially when he’s as small as Thomas is, and they fear any of the guys he’s running with. Of course they’re going to knock him to the floor. And it worked. And they’re right back in the series, tied at two games apiece. And should be up 3 games to one. And this is another example as to why I said they should have pulled the trigger at the deadline for either Jimmy Butler or Paul George. You’re a one that nearly got shocked in the first round by an 8, and now Wizards are giving you everything you can handle in the second round. And it’s because they’re giving Thomas hell, and there’s no one else that can make the Wizards consistently pay when they do run three guys at him.
So yes, it is a little strange that he didn’t get to the free throw line but that’s not the reason they lost; and they have bigger problems than that. Fact is, while the series is tied, the Wizards had a 17 point lead in Game 1 and theoretically could be preparing for Cleveland right now.