Isaiah Thomas hasn’t been sharp since returning to the game following a lengthy hip injury, but he refuses to take the blame for the team’s struggles of late. The point guard has played in nine games, during which the Cleveland Cavaliers have gone 4-5 while allowing almost 121 points per game.
Yet when talking with reporters Saturday, Thomas pointed to the fact that, given the way things have gone all season, he’s not to blame for the team’s defensive struggles. And he also said it’s “not fair” that he’s being targeted as a problem.
“We’ve been a lowest five [rated] defensive team in the NBA the whole time [this season],” Thomas said, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “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.”
Thomas has never been an outstanding perimeter defender. His struggles there have only further amplified what’s been a problem for the Cavs all year long. And making things worse, he’s been on a cold streak shooting, making just under 36 percent of his shots in the past seven games.
Though the Cavaliers did manage to win a game on Friday night, they’re in a tailspin dating back to Christmas, going 4-10 since that time.
Along with the team’s defensive struggles, there’s been some serious discord brewing within the locker room. This culminated with a meeting in which Thomas asked Kevin Love why he wasn’t with his teammates during a game last week.
On Saturday, Thomas said he was questioning “why wasn’t he at the game during the game supporting his teammates?”
He’s since said there’s “no bad blood” between himself and Love, but that remains to be seen.