When the going gets tough, as during its Round 32 showdown against Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, AS Monaco knows it can count on veteran forward Will Thomas to step up.
Monaco counted on Thomas to top Baskonia
At age 35, Thomas is playing some of the best basketball of his career, averaging 7.1 points on outstanding shooting percentages (66.7% 2FG, 39.5% 3FG, 91.7% FT), 3.9 rebounds and a PIR of 10.1. He has a key role in Monaco's frontcourt and proved it against Baskonia.
Thomas had 16 points, his new season high, on 7-for-9 two-point and 2-for-2 free-throw shooting, and finished the game witha PIR of 19. It was not just how many points he scored, but how he stepped up in the most important moments of the game.
Baskonia led 18-19 after 10 minutes and Thomas returned to action late in the second quarter. He buried his trademark jump hook and added a pair of free throws to help Monaco get a double-digit lead, 42-32, at halftime. Thomas had a couple of put-back baskets in the third quarter, heading to the bench with a 52-36 Monaco lead.
Baskonia managed to get within 65-58 in the final quarter, and when Monaco desperately needed a go-to guy, Thomas was ready to make the difference. He scored three times in the paint and added a big block on Jayson Granger. All of a sudden, Monaco led 76-62 and was well on its way to record a very important win.