NBA free agent Isaiah Thomas led the way for Team USA with 19 points on Friday night as they defeated the Bahamas 93-77 in FIBA AmeriCup in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The game was the USA’s fifth in FIBA AmeriCup Qualifying play, which the USA will close out against Mexico tomorrow, Feb. 20, at 5 p.m. EST (live on ESPN+).
The 32-year-old Thomas, who played last season with the Wizards, is looking to use these games with Team USA to show teams in the NBA that he can still get it done. After the game, Thomas, who also had six turnovers, discussed his performance.
“I think I played okay. I mean, I’m my biggest critic,” Thomas said. “I felt like I could have done so much more. But you know, I was in foul trouble a little bit. The turnovers are way too high, so I got to limit those. But I’m also getting used to that new ball. I’ve been playing with one ball for the last 10 years. So, it’s a little different, but I just have to adjust, continue to stay aggressive, continue to make plays, and, like I said, most importantly, it’s about getting the win.”
Health has been an issue for Thomas over the years. Thomas dealt with a hip issue, but according to the two-time All-Star, he’s healthy and can help an NBA team.
“The world knows I got what it takes,” Thomas said. “So, it’s just about showing that I’m healthy. My skill didn’t go anywhere. It was just about getting 100% healthy, which I am right now. So, this is definitely a showcase for me, not just for myself, but for, you know, everybody on this team to showcase that, you know, they can play and be able to get jobs around the world. So, you know, individually. Yes, I’m showing that, you know, I’m 100% healthy. I’m moving and I’m myself.”
It was good to see Thomas back on the court, and hopefully, he can get another shot in the league.
Teams will continue to play games in the FIBA AmeriCup Qualifying final window through Feb. 21, after which the top three teams from each of the four groups will earn a berth into the FIBA AmeriCup 2022. With five wins, the USA is assured of its berth into the FIBA AmeriCup 2022, which will serve to qualify teams from the Americas zone for the 2024 Olympic Games.
Photo: FIBA AmeriCup