Thomas failed to shoot a free throw for just the fifth time this season.
After the Boston Celtics dropped Game 4 to the Washington Wizards on Sunday, 121-102, Isaiah Thomas had some words for the officiating crew that failed to send the All-Star guard to the free throw line.
Celtics' Isaiah Thomas: "I might have hit the ground 5 or 6 straight times... It's gotta be called differently... I don't even shoot one FT" pic.twitter.com/z2lMBcbF9o— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) May 8, 2017
“They were very physical. They were very physical,” Thomas said. “The refs were allowing them to hold and grab and do all those things. I think, especially in that quarter, I might have hit the ground five or six straight times. And I’m not the one that likes hitting the ground. So I think it’s gotta be called differently. Not saying that’s the reason why we lost. They went on a 26-0 run, and we can’t have that on the road. I can’t allow to be held and grabbed every pin-down, every screen and I don’t shoot one free throw. I play the same way each and every night. I think that has to change.”
Thomas scored 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting in Game 4 and drilled five of his six three-point attempts, but a good chunk of his game is predicated on getting to the charity stripe. The 5’9 guard averaged 8.5 free throws per game in the regular season, making 90 percent of them, and 9.3 Foul Shots per game in the playoffs.
He also didn’t get to the line in Game 3 of Boston’s first-round series against the Bulls, marking just the fifth time he failed to see a foul shot this year.
Thomas was right. Foul shots weren’t the reason why the Celtics lost. Like he said, the Wizards went on a 26-0 run in the third quarter, dishing out a blow Boston couldn’t recover from. But free throws serve as an opportunity for a team to stabilize itself. They allow a team to reset defensively and calm down as a unit.
Without IT4 getting to the stripe, the Celtics weren’t afforded to do so. And while it wasn’t the reason for Boston losing Game 4, it certainly played a role.