Isaiah Thomas may be on the verge of returning sooner than we all thought, which will bolster the Cavaliers lineup tremendously.
However, with Thomas’ return forthcoming, many will begin to evaluate his game against the point guard LeBron James played with for the last three seasons. Kyrie Irving.
Thomas led the underdog Boston Celtics last years to the Eastern Conference Finals last season. His breakout season led Thomas to be voted fifth in the MVP race, right behind LeBron.
James, who was Irving’s biggest fan while he was in Cleveland, would go out of his way time after time to talk up Kyrie to anyone who would listen.
Now with the departure of Irving, James has seemingly changed his stance on who he would rather share the floor with.
With the impeding return of Thomas to the Cavaliers lineup, LeBron “took a shot” at his ex-teammate in an interview with Bleacher Report.
Via Bleacher Report
“It’s been a while since I’ve had that clear-cut guy who can get guys involved but also score at the same time,” James told B/R Mag. “But it’s fine. It’s something that our team will make an adjustment to.”
James is of course referencing Thomas, who last year scored nearly four more points per game than Irving and dished out nearly six assists per game.
But there seems to be something about Thomas that will make him a great fit with LeBron and the Cavaliers. For one, Thomas seems to understand that James is the main option on the team.
It is hard to envision there being a power struggle for the alpha role on this team. However, Thomas is more than capable of exploding on the offensive end himself on any given night, which is something LeBron needs to have at this stage in his career.
With the Celtics last season Thomas’ offensive skill set was on full display. Thomas recorded 31 games of 30 or more points during the regular season. More impressively, Thomas only scored fewer than 20 points in just four of the 76 regular season games he played.
Even though Thomas has yet to play a single game for the Cavaliers this season, he already has won his teammates over with his constant enthusiasm on the bench. That kind of energy can be contagious and will be welcomed to the starting lineup when Thomas returns.
Until Thomas makes his eventual return (which could be sooner than expected) the verdict is still out on the Kyrie trade. However, it is at least a good sign that both Thomas and LeBron are extremely optimistic that things will go well once Isaiah is healthy.
In the three years Irving ands James were teammates, there was not a bigger fan of Kyrie than LeBron. He was even ready to pass the keys to the Cavaliers franchise over to Irving last year, but Irving wanted a fresh start and is now in Boston.
Thomas, who was content playing for the Celtics, now is more motivated than ever. When he steps back on the court, Thomas is going to be ready to prove his doubters wrong once again, which is bad news for the other guards in the league who will have to try and contain Thomas.
People forget and act like I didn’t bust they favorite PGs ass all last season LOL.
— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) November 6, 2017
His determination paired with his talent level to go with LeBron’s constant strive to be great should make for a talented pairing.
Boston should enjoy their time atop the Eastern Conference because when the Cavaliers come back fully loaded, the Celtics, as well as the rest of the conference will have to contend with a hungry Cleveland unit led by the dynamic duo James and Thomas.