In his conversation with Skip Bayless and Joy Taylor, Shannon Sharpe analyzes Isaiah Thomas' Cavaliers debut as he scored 17 points and played 19 minutes in the Cleveland win.
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SHANNON SHARPE: I wasn't surprised by his production. I was surprised by how many minutes he played. Skip, he has a scorer of the basketball. That's what he does.
Even at his size, the one thing Isaiah Thomas could always do was put the ball in the basket. He is a volume shooter. He got up 12 shots in those 19 minutes. I'm not surprised. I think he's surprised by how well he's played because he's mentioned it.
Haven't played in seven months, especially against this level of competition, discriminating against the G leagues, scrimmage against guys, own your own team that's not the same as playing in an NBA ballgame. I was surprised-- I'm not surprised. Look, this is what we know about LeBron. He's the greatest chef ever created in the NBA because he can make any dish. Give him any ingredients, Joy, he's going to make it presentable Skip Bayless.
He going to make it palatable. He going to make it pleasing to the eye. And he going to make it taste good. So I'm not worried about LeBron James. But I was surprised at how well as they played with D-Wade.
Now that seemed to be the unit that was clicking. Came in with the second unit. Tristan Thompson, I think-- I'm not surprised with Tristan because Tristan is a great pick and roll big man. Isaiah Thomas is one of the better pick and roll point guards. But the chemistry that he had with D-Wade and that second unit, they might be on to something, Skip.
SKIP BAYLESS: Oh, do you really think Isaiah Thomas is going to sit still for playing with the second unit? He will not.
SHANNON SHARPE: No, I'm not saying that, Skip. But I'm saying he-- they will always stagger. So I'm thinking that LeBron and Isaiah, one of those guys-- once Isaiah gets up to speed, will always be on the court. So there's always going to be a situation where one of the-- both of these guys can go get their own shots. Both of these guys can sit up other guys.
Now Isaiah Thomas is not the passer of the basketball as LeBron James is. He's career. He's somewhere between four and six assists a night. That's what he is. He's not a John Wall, the old-school, prototypical point guard.
Although Russell is a volume shoot first guard, he's a double digit assist guy. That's not what Isaiah Thomas is, nor do we expect him to be that. But I tell you what he can do. He can put the ball in the basket. He can take some of the scoreboard burn off of LeBron and Kevin Love.
So I'm surprised that he played as many minutes as he did, especially since he hadn't played in nine months, but he looked good. He's not his old explosive self, but he's getting there. I like he took the ball to the basket and one, got a couple of threes, come down here, pull up with a little mid-range, that lefty had it going.
And we got something on store. Now he's not going play tonight. We going to put him back on the shelf. Put him back on the shelf. We don't want y'all to see what we got.
SKIP BAYLESS: Sure about that?
SHANNON SHARPE: I'm sure about that!
SKIP BAYLESS: I don't think Vegas is sure, because they won't even post a line yet on this game at Boston tonight, because I think they're all waiting to see, just in case Isaiah wakes up today and says, you know what? I feel great.
SHANNON SHARPE: Well, he going to wake up. He going to wake up today, but he's not going to play. We've already got it--
SKIP BAYLESS: You've already decided.
SHANNON SHARPE: We've already decided. Myself T-Lew, Bron, Koby Altman, we've already decided what going to happen. Yep.
SKIP BAYLESS: You've spoken--
SHANNON SHARPE: No, we ain't-- No, Danny involved-- Danny ain't involved in this.