Abdul Gaddy’s injury hurts Washington’s high-octane offense, but it may be a boon for Isaiah Thomas’ NBA future.
And it still might turn out OK for the Huskies.
Thomas did anything and everything during a 92-71 win against Cal Sunday night, scoring a season-high 27 points on 8-of-16 shooting, dished a career-high 13 assists, had two steals and made a fool of every defender Cal used.
Both Bears coach Mike Montgomery and guard Brandon Smith praised him afterward, not to mention Thomas’ teammates and his coach, Lorenzo Romar.
“It was probably the best performance I have seen him have as a Husky. He was the band conductor orchestrating that game for all of the 35 minutes he was in there. He was really good. He’s been playing like this since we started conference games,” Romar told Percy Allen of the Seattle Times.
More impressive was a rave by an NBA scout. Thomas is just 5-foot-8, but dominated the game and raised his NBA profile as a result. From Allen’s story:
“If he can run a team like he has tonight, he could make it (to the NBA),” the scout said. “That’s what you really didn’t know about him.”
The scout also raved about Thomas’ knack for converting difficult layups after drawing contact that often sends him sprawling to the floor. He was also impressed at Thomas’ ability to run the pick-n-roll and either draw a foul or get a pass through tight spaces to Bryan-Amaning.
“Those are next-level plays,” the scout said.
Thomas has always been fearless driving the lane and drawing contact, but Sunday was one of the rare times when he controlled the game by either driving or running the offense. It’s not that he’s uncomfortable playing point, but hasn’t always trusted his teammates to make plays.
Without Gaddy, he doesn’t have a choice. Now that he’s settled into his official PG role, it could be a win-win for the Huskies and his future.
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