Isaiah Thomas Rips Cavaliers for Blowing 21-Point Lead vs. MagicFebruary 7, 2018
Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Isaiah Thomas was again critical of his team after the Cavs threw away a 21-point lead in a 116-98 defeat to the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night.
"When adversity hits, we go our separate ways," Thomas said, per ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin.
The two-time All-Star also called out the effort level of his teammates after the Cavaliers lost 120-88 to the Houston Rockets on Saturday. Cleveland.com shared his comments from the locker room:
clevelanddotcom Cavs @PDcavsinsider
Isaiah Thomas questioned the Cavs' effort after the game: "I don't know the last time we got on the floor for a loose ball. I know that teams I've been on, defense is determined on deflections, steals, loose balls, who's the hardest working team." #Cavs https://t.co/3eR9uAhuGs
Thomas' critiques aren't necessarily wrong, but it's a case of the pot calling the kettle black. He was 3-of-13 from the floor and 1-of-6 from beyond the arc against Orlando, and he has been one of the worst players in the league since returning from his hip injury.
Entering Tuesday, the Cavaliers had a minus-14.8 net rating with Thomas on the floor, according to NBA.com. He was also sixth from last in the NBA in ESPN.com's real plus-minus (minus-4.27).
"If IT is going to be high-volume, no-efficiency and a poor defender, that's pretty hard to absorb," an NBA executive told Bleacher Report's Ken Berger. "The pieces don't fit."
In addition to the tangible impact Thomas has made on the court, he has been a lightning rod for drama off it. The New York Daily News' Frank Isola reported Jan. 23 that Thomas "led the charge" when Cleveland players called out Kevin Love during a team meeting.
ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski had reported some of Love's teammates were upset he left the arena during a 148-124 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Jan. 20 and missed practice the next day.
Cleveland's problems don't originate with Thomas, and blame for the team's string of poor performances extends to almost everybody in the organization—from ownership to the players. But Thomas doesn't help matters when he points fingers.