The Reaction: A Big Moment for Little Isaiah Thomas | Truth About It.net

The Reaction: A Big Moment for Little Isaiah Thomas

By
Updated: January 28, 2013

Rapid reactions from TAI’s Adam McGinnis and John Converse Townsend, who saw the Washington Wizards fall to 11-32 after Kings PG Isaiah Thomas swished a last-second floater to win, 96-94.

MVP

Do you wanna know who Emeka Okafor is playing better than right now?  The Lakers’ Dwight Howard. Ironic, huh? No way that anyone ever imagined reigniting the “No. 1″ debate from 2004, but Okafor’s outstanding play and Howard’s struggles in Los Angeles, but here we are. Okafor dominated Sacramento in the first quarter with 14 points and four rebounds. His midrange jumper was flowing and he was getting to the free throw line (six attempts, a team-high). He finished with a game- and season-high 23 points, plus 15 rebounds. Okafor’s presence was felt on the defensive end, and he helped limit the Kings to just seven offensive boards. Okafor probably deserved more touches in crunch time. I cannot believe that I just typed that.

—Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis)

X-Factor

Isaiah Thomas, who had seven assists, four boards and 22 points, including the game-winning floater over Garrett Temple (pictured above). “I couldn’t find anybody that could guard him tonight,” Randy Wittman told the media after the game. “He got anywhere he wanted tonight—right, left. The kid made a play at the end.”

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

That was … a lethargic game of basketball, appropriately played on a Monday night in front of a sparse crowd.

Two of the NBA’s cellar dwellers played little defense in the first half, and there was a lack of energy throughout the arena. The Wizards sloppy ball handling eventually caught up with them—20 turnovers proved costly. The Kings only gave it up 10 times, but a few miscues in the final minutes almost allowed the Wizards back into it. This was the Kings’ first victory since the proposed move to Seattle was announced, and the Wizards finally came back to earth by blowing a boring, yet very winnable game. The Wizards impressive 10-game streak “against the spread” ended tonight. Sorry, gamblers.

—Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis)

Defining Moment

With just over 10 seconds left on the clock, Martell Webster received an inbounds pass on the left wing, wide-open. He thought about the jumper, hesitated, and did just enough with his shoulders to get his defender, Tyreke Evans, to leave his feet. That opened up a path to the rim; Webster hit a hanging layup over Francisco Garcia to tie the game at 94 with 7.9 seconds to play.

Jimmer Fredette and Marcus Thornton checked in for Chuck Hayes and Thomas Robinson; Trevor Ariza and Garrett Temple entered the game for Jordan Crawford and Emeka Okafor.

With the ball in play, and the clock ticking, Thomas worked his way over a soft screen from Garcia before driving left, past the outstretched arms of nearby defender Trevor Ariza (who as guarding Tyreke Evans 25 feet from the basket), before hitting a last-second shot over the 6-foot-6 Garrett Temple for the win.

“Coach drew up a play and I got open,” Thomas said. “I had seen a guy that was guarding me and that hadn’t played all game, so I felt like I had an opportunity to take him. He kind of forced me to my strong hand and it happened to go in.

“I wanted to shoot a jumper, but the guy was forcing me to my left, and I had to take what the defense gave me.”

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)

 

Photo via