Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

April 6, 2013
The Morning After: Looking at Isaiah Thomas and assists

Once again, Isaiah Thomas was left to answer why his scoring totals were more impressive than his assist totals.

The Kings' starting point guard scored a game-high 29 points on a game-high 20 shots in the Kings 117-108 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.

Thomas also attempted a game-high 12 free throws.

Thomas also had a 25 point, zero-assist game against Philadelphia last month.

Thomas is averaging five assists in his last 10 games and 6.3 in the four games before playing the Mavs.

Is the criticism fair? Thomas averages 3.8 assists for the season, so it's not like this is John Stockton going rogue against the offense, is it?

"I think when you just grab a stat sheet you see one assist there," said Kings coach Keith Smart. "I think when you look and I'll see in the game (film) there were passes made. He threw a couple passes to a couple guys that didn't shoot the ball. The shots had to be made, things like that. He dropped off some passes to the bigs under the basket and they weren't finished."

Added Smart:

"He made some plays to people and just didn't get the payoff."

The Kings shot just 44.8 percent. And it's not as if Thomas is just a stat chaser. I know him well enough to know he's not solely about his points every night.

"I made probably four or five plays where guys didn't make the shots," Thomas said. "I'm not too worried about what the stat sheet says because that's just half of what the game consists of. I don't try to worry about all that, how I'm going to get 10 assists or 10 points this game, 30 points this game. I just try to make plays as I see what the defense gives me."

Smart wasn't panicking about Thomas' statistics. Smart pointed to Darren Collison, who had eight assists off the bench in part because his teammates made open shots.

"I think you've got a young, growing point guard, you're going to have some situations like that," Smart said. "His assist making will grow as knock-down shooters are open and making their shots.

"It's going to happen."

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