Nuggets’ Isaiah Thomas snubbed from Sports Illustrated’s Top 100 NBA players list
Isaiah Thomas’ fall from grace was dramatic. One year removed from being an MVP candidate with the Boston Celtics, the diminutive point guard signed a one-year deal for the league minimum with the Denver Nuggets. He struggled with injuries all year and never recaptured his top-notch form while playing with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers.
Now according to Sports Illustrated’s annual NBA player rankings, Thomas isn’t even one of the top 100 players in the NBA. This could be considered a snub by some, but after last season, it’s hard to argue with Thomas’ ranking, or lack thereof. At 5-foot-9, Thomas is a liability on defense. He has trouble guarding most guys without having constant help and can be victimized when he’s forced to switch.
Offensively, his injuries slowed him down significantly. He didn’t have the same explosiveness going to the basket, which was a huge key to his offensive breakout in Boston.
But all this being said, if Thomas can stay healthy, perhaps he can prove the haters wrong in Denver. He’s going to come off the bench for Mike Malone’s squad and could be a second-unit scoring spark. Malone is an excellent coach who will try hard to figure out how to get the most out of Thomas. Although his size and frame limit some of the things Thomas can do, there are ways Malone can exploit the point guard’s skills.
Thomas enters a contract year for the second straight season amid widespread doubt he can replicate his old form. But this list just adds to the motivation Thomas needs.