Isaiah Thomas Angrily Fires Back at Those Criticizing His Defense

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Since Isaiah Thomas‘ return from injury, the Cleveland Cavaliers have lost seven games out of 11, but that doesn’t mean he feels responsible for his team’s recent struggles.

According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, Thomas took the time following Saturday’s practice to point out that the Cavs’ stats on defense have been disappointing since the start of the season, and are not due to his return to the court.

“We’ve been a lowest five [rated] defensive team in the NBA the whole time [this season],” Thomas said. “So when I come back, it’s my fault now. Which, life isn’t fair, but that’s not fair, bro. At all. I just laugh at those things because I know in this circle and this team, everybody believes in each other, and everybody’s in here for it to work and for us to be playing in June. That’s the ultimate goal.”

He also responded to criticism regarding his recent shot selection. Since his return, the former All-Star has shot just 39.0 percent from the field and 27.6 percent from beyond the three-point line.

“If they’re worried about my shot selection, they must not have seen me play the last few years,” Thomas said. “That’s all I can say about that. If somebody’s worried about that, what did you trade me here for? To not shoot? To not find my rhythm? To not be Isaiah Thomas? I can’t be anybody else. So whoever’s saying that, I don’t know what I’m here for if I’m not here to score the ball and make plays after being off seven months.”

Thomas is known to be a weak defender and has confirmed that reputation already this season. While he is averaging 15.4 points and 3.6 assists per game, he has not yet proven to be more of an asset than a liability for the struggling Cavs.

The 5-foot-9 guard is certainly skirting blame for the Cavs’ defensive woes, but he is also trying to keep it positive. He is right that the team needs to begin playing for each other, and hopefully Friday night’s victory will help the rest of the team remember that.

There is more than enough talent on this Cleveland roster to find sustained success. Thomas will certainly be a part of that success even if he struggles on the defensive side of the ball. Still, it will be interesting to see what kind of credit Thomas believes he deserves if the Cavs are able to begin winning in bunches once again.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Cavaliers Nation.