Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas took exception to a hard foul from the Raptorsâ DeMarre Carroll in Friday nightâs 107-97 Celtics loss, and afterwards had some stinging words for Carroll.
Hereâs the play.
Carroll was eventually called for a Flagrant 1 foul for the play. Hereâs what Thomas said about Carroll afterwards.
âIt was intentional. Did you see it?â Thomas said after scoring 20 points in the Celticsâ 107-97 loss to the Toronto Raptors. âYeah, thatâs not a basketball play by any means. Guys who arenât factors in games do that. It is what it is.â
âItâs not like back in the day where you can put your hands up and fight a guy,â Thomas said. âYou canât do that. But that was not a basketball play whatsoever, and thatâs not cool that he did that.â
âGuys who arenât factors in games do that,â is of course the dig, there. Carroll has struggled the past two years trying to get back from injuries that have robbed him of the versatility he showed in Atlanta before the Raptors signed him to a big contract.
Thomas finished with 20 points on 6-of-17 shooting and was a minus-19 for the game. He scored one point in the final seven minutes of the game. Carroll finished with six points, on two huge 3-pointers late in the contest, with a plus-19 in the win for Toronto.
Thomas is right -- that shove was intentional. However, if heâs upset about that one, heâs in for a long three months. The playoffs are coming up, and these games against teams in their bracket are going to continue to be intense. Then the playoffs are a whole other level.
Thomas is the leagueâs darling this season for his emergence as a top-flight scorer. That comes with fame, sponsorships, adoration, respect ... and fouls. Lots and lots of hard fouls. The Celticsâ offense has become more and more Thomas-centric, especially in the absence of Avery Bradley, and teams know that at 5-9, playing physical with him is the best way to go.
This is only going to get more difficult. That said, Thomas should keep up the public narrative of calling out these fouls. The best way to combat it is to make the officials aware of it so that players are afraid to give him too much extra on those fouls. But if heâs genuinely offended by that kind of contact, heâs going to have a rough couple of months. More are coming. Thatâs just how the league works.
HT: Bleacher Report