When you’re only 5-foot-9, you have to play with a little chip on your shoulder.
Isaiah Thomas certainly checks that box, fearlessly challenging defenders of all sizes — and we mean all sizes. On Friday night, the Boston Celtics point guard took on a giant in 7-foot Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, and the result was some terrific trash talk between the two.
In the second quarter of Friday’s game at TD Garden, Embiid picked up Thomas on a switch, but the Celtics guard blew right by him, absorbing Embiid’s contact to hit a pretty and-one layup.
Thomas and Embiid appeared to share a few words after the play.
So, what did Thomas say to the rookie big man? The answer was vintage Thomas.
“I just said, ‘Nobody can stop me on a switch. Especially not your big ass,'” Thomas said, via ESPN.com’s Chris Forsberg. “He started laughing so I said, ‘I seen what you said earlier.’ And I got him on one.”
Embiid said before the game he’d embrace the role of guarding Thomas on pick-and-rolls, telling reporters at Philly’s shootaround, “I take pride in stopping the other position, especially other point guards. I hope I get switched on to him. He’s fast and he’s kind of short, so it’s harder, but it would be a great test for me.”
Turns out Embiid was right — especially about that last part.
Thomas went on to score 24 points in the Celtics’ 110-106 win over the Sixers, while Embiid was the latest NBA player to witness Thomas’ offensive wizardry firsthand. We suppose it’s all part of The Process.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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