Isaiah Thomas has been beloved by Boston Celtics fans all around the world and who can blame them? After the latest big three era ended and Rajon Rondo expected to be traded, Celtics fans like myself barely had any hope of becoming relevant in years to come. Danny Ainge, with a little Irish luck, managed to pull off the trade of the year in landing Isaiah Thomas. The city of Boston embraced the young scorer, and he’s done nothing but fight day in and day out for the city of champions. While appreciative, many Celtics fans like myself see beyond our false simmer of hope. I believe its time to trade Isaiah Thomas and start Marcus Smart. To add to that, I’m starting to feel like Brad Stevens may be heading in that direction.
After a poor display of effort against the Denver Nuggets last night, a -20 on the stat sheet, and allowing Emanuel Mudiay to score 24 in the first half, head coach Brad Stevens had a whole lot to say about the Boston Celtics’ effort. Allow me to share with you guys some of the most telling quotes from Stevens last night,
“You can change it with position, you can change it with effort, you can change it with desire,”
“And it’s one of the things I appreciate about the game. No matter what you’ve done last year, the score starts 0-0 and you have to do it. This was not a big surprise to me that this happened.”
And my favorite of all,
“I think we play like a finesse team, and they play physical,” Stevens explained after the Celtics’ loss on Sunday. “So I kind of saw that right out of the gate. You know, they were getting where they wanted to on their drives.”
How far are the Celtics from becoming a top three defensive team?
“I don’t even know if it’s statistically possible based on our week,” Stevens answered. “I don’t even know if you can make it up in 76 games but we can get a lot better. But it starts with holding your ground physically. You know, [Emmanuel] Mudiay goes nuts, that’s fine, but Mudiay also gets two putbacks — or at least one putback early — that gets you going. Makes you feel good about yourself. We brought a little bit of aggressiveness at the start of the third quarter but that wasn’t sustainable. (WEEI)
When I think of the words finesse and physical, they remind me of two people. Celtics guards Isaiah Thomas, and Marcus Smart. If you think anything about these two guards, you already know which guard is the more physical of the two. Hint: It’s the 6’4 first round draft pick who has yet to emerge on a consistent basis like his counterpart in Los Angeles in Julius Randle has.
Julius Randle has been given the opportunity to start for the Los Angeles Lakers. After a decent year, he has emerged as the Lakers’ best player this season under Luke Walton’s fast paced offense. Marcus Smart, who also plays for a great coach, has not been given that opportunity for many reasons. Whether its his health, age, or level of play, Marcus Smart hasn’t flourished into a potential star just yet and I’m willing to bet that playing behind Isaiah Thomas isn’t helping him.
Imagine if D’Angelo Russell still had to come off the bench, would he be flourishing the way he is now? Not in the same way. Sometimes, a franchise just has to invest its trust into a player. It can be difficult for a player to emerge when he isn’t treated like a star before he already is one. I know it sounds stupid, but not every player can be Paul George, who emerged out of what appeared to be nowhere to dethrone Pacers’ star at the time, Danny Granger.
Celtics fans who are serious about contending in the long run: Who should start at point guard for the Boston Celtics?
— Per Sources Sports (@PerSources14) November 7, 2016
If the Boston Celtics want more physical play like Stevens is indicating, want the behind the back passes and silly jump shots to go away, its time to trust Marcus Smart with this offense. Isaiah Thomas would make a great sixth man here, or anywhere else in the League. However, I believe this Celtics roster has enough depth to Thomas and be better off in the long run. As Marcus and Jaylen continue to grow together, this roster could be a very physical and top defensive roster. Considering Isaiah’s size, that cannot happen with him being the Celtics’ starting guard. Too many guards are torching the Celtics because of Isaiah’s lack of size, and its time the Celtics got serious about contending.
Isaiah Thomas, thanks for everything, but its time to go. Marcus Smart may be more than a physical defensive player, but how will we know until we give him the keys to the offense?
Disagree with me? Let me know via twitter: @TPRx11