BOSTON -- Even All-Star caliber players like Isaiah Thomas need a little help from their friends to win games. With five teammates scoring in double figures, Thomas got plenty of it Friday in the Celtics' 110-101 win over the Bulls.
"Guys were sharing the ball. Guys were executing by being in the right spot at the right time," Thomas said. "We played overall a really good game against a really good team."
The Celtics assisted on over 60% of their made baskets for the 26th time this season, and now have a 16-10 record in those games. When the ball is moving and Thomas receives secondary scoring from teammates, the Celtics are at their best on offense.
If Thomas is Boston's 'Batman,' on Friday 'Robin' was Avery Bradley.
Bradley was sidelined for three games this month due to a hip injury, which clearly hampered him for a stretch. But it appears he's returned to form with his third-straight game scoring 19 or more points.
As usual, Brad Stevens revved up Bradley's engine on the first possession. To start off his 21-point performance, Bradley hurried through a few screens before draining a mid-range jumper.
This was Bradley's first of five buckets that came via assist.
Assisting Bradley on his makes is typical, though. Most of Bradley's offense comes via dribble handoffs, screens, spot ups, and cuts to the basket, with very little isolation.
But Bradley's best bucket on Friday came on a possession he dribbled 18 times. Iso-ball at its finest.
This quick crossover into a screen to shake Derrick Rose loose is brilliant because it's not the type of shot we see Bradley take often. It almost never happens!
Via SportVU, Bradley's 18 dribbles marks the most times this season he's dribbled in a possession before shooting. He's actually taken 10 dribbles or more prior to shooting only three times this season. Only 39 of his 2,355 shots since 2013 have come when he's dribbled at least 10 times (and on those 39 attempts, he shoots 25.6%).
By comparison, 12.6% of Thomas' shot attempts since 2013 come after 10 dribbles, and he shoots 42.2% on them. That contrast works perfectly though. The Celtics need Thomas to be a playmaker and Bradley to be a sharpshooter. Thomas and Bradley are opposites as players and that's why they complement each other.
The key for the Boston Celtics is to get them both clicking on all cylinders to win more games against tough opponents.