This time last season, Isaiah Thomas was an MVP candidate, lighting up the league with the Boston Celtics. Traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the offseason, Thomas played in just 15 games before being moved again, now a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.
In Cleveland, Thomas’ numbers were not at the same level from his time in Boston, leading some to wonder if he can return to that level after undergoing a serious hip surgery. One person who isn’t worried is Channing Frye, who also was sent to the Lakers in the trade.
Frye chalked up some of Thomas’ struggles with the Cavaliers to their system and believes the Lakers’ fast-paced offense that’s predicated on ball movement offense benefit him, via Lakers reporter Mike Trudell:
Channing Frye said Thomas is “going to be fine.” Struggles in Cleveland were partly “system based” and several Cavs weren’t playing their best, including himself. Frye thinks the “faster pace and way the ball moves and pops” is a “better system” for Thomas: “He’s gonna ball.”
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) February 10, 2018
It is very possible that the fit of Thomas and the Cavaliers was simply a bad one. They do not play as fast as the Lakers, and Thomas recovering from a hip injury likely also played a role in his struggles as well.
In his first game with the Lakers, Thomas gave a glimpse of what to expect. He scored 22 points, with 16 coming in the first half, on 7-for-12 shooting. Thomas connected on half of his eight attempts from behind the 3-point line, and added six assists in 31 minutes.
As a lifelong Lakers fan, and eager to prove that he is still the All-Star he was last year, Thomas will undoubtedly give the Lakers everything he can and hopefully he turns out to be the perfect match with Luke Walton’s offense.
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