A few days ago, there were serious concerns in Boston after the Celtics dropped the first two games of their first-round series against the No. 8 seed Bulls. Everyone is a bit more relaxed, however, after the Celtics went into Chicago and mirrored the Bulls' feat, winning both games on the road. Now, the series moves back to Boston for Game 5 tied at 2-2.
The main reason that is the case is because Sunday evening in the United Center, the best player on the floor was Isaiah Thomas. The Celtics' point guard went off for 33 points, and dished out seven assists as the Celtics prevailed, 104-95.
According to Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg, however, Thomas was only able to have that success because the referees allow him to carry the ball.
After praising Thomas for his play, and his perserverence through a tough time, Hoiberg said:
But when you're allowed to discontinue your dribble on every possession, he is impossible to guard. He's impossible to guard when you're able to put your hand under the ball, take two or three steps, and put it back down. It's impossible to guard him in those situations.
It appears the refs do sometimes call Thomas for carrying, but not often.
Isaiah Thomas, though, was not having it.
Isaiah Thomas on Hoiberg's carrying comments: "That's not the reason I'm an impossible cover."— Brian Robb (@CelticsHub) April 24, 2017
Look, does Thomas make use of an extended hesitation dribble move that could be called a carry by the letter of the rule? Sure, but so does pretty much every guard in the league.
This may sound a little like sour grapes, but even if Thomas gets just one or two carries called on him in Game 5, this was a smart move by Hoiberg to make a public complaint like this.