An offseason of rumors and stories about Jimmer Fredette is starting to look like a lot of hype for nothing.
Expected and hoped by many to come in and be the play-making point guard the Sacramento Kings were looking for, Jimmer awakes this day to a new reality: He is not even the best rookie on his team. It gets worse for him: He isn't even the best rookie point guard on his own team!
While Jimmer has gotten all the praise, hype and stories written about him, look what has happened. The very last selection in the NBA draft, Isaiah Thomas, has come in and given the Kings exactly what they needed all along. In Thomas, the team now has the speedy, defensive-oriented, pass-first floor general they have been looking for.
Jimmer has done what most expected him to do. He shows flashes of offensive genius, with a comfortable shooting range that reaches several feet behind the three-point line. He looks like a willing passer at times, but has not often been able to get the ball to open teammates.
Meanwhile, Isaiah Thomas has done everything. Defensively, he has provided full-court pressure and aggressive defensive play. This is a skill Sacramento fans have not seen in a player here in... maybe ever.
Thomas rides his man up and down the court, rarely picking up needless fouls but always putting pressure on the other team from the point guard spot. In order to play solid team defense, you must have a guy like this at the point, and now the Kings do.
On the offensive end, Thomas has been a play-making blur, running all over the court like crazy. He rarely commits turnovers, as he has amazing handles and dribbling ability.
Even going through crowds of defenders while looking for open teammates, Thomas displays ball-handling skills that show he is elite at this skill. Kings fans now know that with Thomas in the game, ball security and defense are at a premium.
Last night, Thomas showed the Toronto Raptors what he is capable of. Coming in off the bench, Thomas scored 20 points, along with 6 assists and 3 rebounds. Even more importantly, he took over the game in stretches.
In the second quarter, Jose Calderon of the Raptors proved no match in staying in front of Thomas, forcing the frustrated home team to call a time out and try to figure out how to stop him. This looks like a sign of things to come.
This was just a glimpse of what might be possible for Thomas in the future. For now, it looks like the Kings may have found a gem at the end of the draft. They may even have their point guard of the future.