Motivation can push a man to do extraordinary things, which is what we will surely see from Isaiah Thomas upon his return to the basketball court.
Thomas, who has been counted out and doubted his entire career, will once again have the chance to prove his many doubters wrong once again. He not only wants to prove the Celtics front office wrong for trading him, Thomas is ready to show the league that they were wrong to count him out.
In addition to that, Thomas also has motivation to help the Cleveland Cavaliers get back to the Finals and capture another championship.
The 5’9″ guard dominated the NBA last season, averaging 28.9 points and 5.9 assists per game. His ability to get to the basket and finish strong around the rim despite his size is one of his biggest strengths.
His entire offensive skill set was on display last season the playoffs against the Washington Wizards.
Thomas is also skilled playing off the ball. This will useful for Thomas when comes back and plays alongside LeBron, whose ability to find open teammates is well documented. Remember last season when Thomas was the Celtics first options, on the Cavaliers he will be the second or third option.
This will allow Thomas to get many open shots and driving angles to the basket. With multiple sets of eyes of LeBron at all times, Thomas will be just as effective playing off the ball as he is with the ball in his hands.
While Thomas is not known for his defense, neither was Kyrie Irving and the Cavaliers still fared pretty well while he was on the floor. Thomas’ offensive playmaking ability is amongst the best for guards in the league and will more than make up for his inconsistencies on the defensive end.
He will give the Cavaliers another ball handler out on the floor. This will allow LeBron James to play off the ball more.
To his credit, Jose Calderon has played well for the Cavaliers while Thomas and Derrick Rose have been sidelined. However, having Thomas as the team’s main point guard will set them up for more success as the season moves along.
This past Thursday Thomas participated in the Cavaliers pre-game layup line, which to many may not be significant. But to Thomas, it is a sign that the end of his grueling comeback journey is coming to an end.
“It was everything. When I was out there in warm-ups, it just felt like I was a rookie again, like my first game,” Thomas said. “I’ve been down since May. Put a jersey on and feel like I was part of the team … that day is coming sooner rather than later.”
Now back to the motivation that was touched on earlier. Thomas is hungry to prove everyone that counted him out wrong. In his “Book of Isaiah” documentary series, Thomas told his children after the trade was announced that, “Now that I’m on the team we’re gonna win the championship.”
Pair that level of motivation with LeBron’s level of motivation and you will have arguably the top two motivated players in all of the NBA on the same team. That kind of attitude is usually contagious and if the rest of the Cavaliers see Thomas and James playing a such a high level, that will only force the rest of the team to do just the same.
We are just days away from seeing the much anticipated return of Isaiah Thomas. Adding a playmaker like Thomas to a team that has already won 19 out of their last 21 games already seems unfair.
While there may be struggles early on as Thomas adjusts to his new team, but expect the struggles to be minimal, if there even are any.
Motivation does wonders for those who use it the right way, and for Isaiah Thomas, his level of motivation has never been greater. And for someone who has been counted out since day one, Thomas is champing at the bit to get back on the court and silencing his critics one sensational play at a time.