BOSTON -- When it comes to shooting, Isaiah Thomas never lacks confidence.
Like most shooters, if he’s having an off-night there’s only one thing to do – keep shooting.
Which makes Friday’s 120-95 win over Brooklyn a little different than most games for Thomas.
Like most of the Celtics, he came out early misfiring on shots he’s accustomed to making.
But instead of continuing to fire away, he began to find teammates for scores.
And … you get the idea.
Not soon after that, the ball found its way back to him and from there, shots began to fall.
And … yeah, it was that kind of night.
“It’s a long game,” said Thomas who finished with a near double-double of 18 points and nine assists. “I just try to stay the course, take the shots that I was given and remain confident – and that’s what it’s all about.”
That confidence that Thomas speaks of seems to be contagious as the Celtics shot an NBA season-high 58.6 percent from the field.
Whether he’s making shots or missing them, the encouragement from Celtics head coach Brad Stevens is steady.
“Coach kept telling me to be aggressive and make the right play,” Thomas recalled. “I think it opened up for me with me being a distributor in the first quarter. It opened up in the second quarter.”
In the second, Boston made 18 of 21 shots from the field as part of a 26-8 run which gave them a commanding 66-42 lead at the half.
Stevens has seen first-hand the growth of Thomas into a playmaker while maintaining the ability to continue being an elite scorer.
“He’s doing a good job of getting other guys involved,” Stevens said.
And his teammates soon returned the favor and found him for good looks offensively.
“So it’s the way it’s supposed to work, right?” Stevens said. “Give it up, get it back and play, share the ball.”
And that leads to a lot shots going down over and over and … you get the idea!