Isiah Thomas (no, not Isaiah Thomas) is not buying what the Celtics are selling.
Boston gave off the vibe of a team that figured it all out in sweeping the Pacers in the first round of the NBA Eastern Conference playoffs. But the Hall of Fame guard suggested trouble is waiting for Brad Stevens' bunch it faces off with Milwaukee later this week.
Appearing on the Stephen A. Smith Show, Thomas pointed to Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe and the Celtics' chemistry as the two primary reasons he is picking Milwaukee in the best-of-seven series. (Click here for the interview.)
"I think it’s going to be difficult for Boston to beat Milwaukee and the reason why I say that is what you alluded to in terms of (Eric) Bledsoe and the way he’s playing and the confidence he has right now," Thomas said. "Last year in the playoffs I think he had a rough playoff series and he did not play well. As a matter of fact he would tell you he really stunk of the up the place. I would say what he’s done this season and the way he’s bounced back as a player and as a man, and again I look at maturation and how you mature and develop intellectually as a player as much as I do physically as a player. And where he’s at right now intellectually right now in the playoffs he’s in a really good spot. I look at him to be a difference maker in the playoffs.
"Als,o the thing that I question about Boston .. The trust factor they have with each other wit the Celtics right now is very fragile and when you’re trying to beat a team int he playoffs the thing you’re really trying to do is break the teammates trust and confidence within each other so they aren’t able to execute their gameplan. When I look at Boston right now from a trust and confidence standpoint they are very fragile and one or two losses can break their trust or their ability to communicate with each other to execute the coach’s gameplan. And that’s what I think Milwaukee will try to exploit."
While the latter topic is hard to prove one way or another, Bledsoe's emergence should be of concern to the Celtics.
In last year's postseason matchup he was outplayed by Terry Rozier, scoring 10 or fewer points in three of the seven games. In the Bucks' first round, however, the guard has been electric, averaging 19.3 points and 5.3 assists per game. The only saving grace for the C's is that they did limit Bledsoe in the teams' three meetings this year to just 11.3 points per game.