It didn't take Isiah Thomas long to shake up the Midwest Division and demonstrate he's ready for the NBA. In his opening weekend, Detroit's 20-year-old rookie orchestrated victories over the two top teams with sensational performances.

The ink hardly had dried on the preseason prognostications that Milwaukee and Chicago would battle for the top spot -- with Detroit last again -- when the Pistons stopped the Bucks Friday night and the Bulls Saturday night.

"Isiah is going to be like Larry Bird and Magic (Johnson)," said Chicago Coach Jerry Sloan after his Bulls' 119-106 loss. "A player like him is good for basketball. Put him on any team and it makes the other guys look better."

Thomas not only followed up his 31-point, 11-assist debut against Milwaukee with a 28-point performance, but he attracted a crowd of 18,633 to Chicago Stadium, the largest ever for a Bulls' opener.

The emergence of this crowd-pleaser, undoubtedly, will please Abe Pollin, the owner of the Bullets, because the Pistons will visit Capital Centre Friday night. But Thomas' talents won't do much to cheer Coach Gene Shue, whose Bullets will need victories after opening with Boston, Philadelphia and Milwaukee.