Playing alongside LeBron James normally carries an adjustment period with it. He owns the offense more than almost any player in the league, and ultimately, it’s his way or the highway. Kevin Love, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and plenty of role players have had to learn how to best complement the best player in the world.
Isaiah Thomas, rarely lacking in confidence, thinks he’ll acclimate just fine. Via Cleveland.com:
"It's definitely going to be an adjustment period but me being older, me knowing the game a little bit more and being a student of the game, I'm going to be able to adjust quicker than somebody else could," Thomas told cleveland.com.
Thomas, who certainly enjoys to have the ball and probe the defense, insists that he’s fine playing off ball next to LeBron at times. He also thinks he’ll be able to thrive in that role.
"I mean, I had the ball a lot (last year with Boston) just because I had to have the ball," Thomas said. "A lot of the times, seriously, last year in the playoffs I played off the ball. So I'm fine with that. I'm a scoring guard. Like, off the ball I can catch and shoot. I can do things like that, but I think, the more we get with each other I think it's going to be an easier transition."
Listen, it’s never going to be easy to play next to James, but Thomas does have the skillset to make it work well once the two get acclimated to one another.
He’s a very good shooter in the catch and shoot, and he was an active off-ball mover for the Celtics last year, generating plenty of shots off of Al Horford hand-offs and passes. As my colleague Justin Rowan has noted, the Cavs could do similar work with Kevin Love on the elbows if Tyronn Lue finds himself inclined to do so.
Thomas is a more than capable player in isolation, though, and in a lot of ways, the Cavaliers should be able to return to the kind of offense they were playing last year with Kyrie Irving at point guard. The transition probably won’t be as easy as Thomas hopes, but as long as he returns to 100 percent, the fit on offense should be beautiful once the kinks are worked out.