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Cavs guard Isaiah Thomas ramping up activity, taking contact drills

Isaiah Thomas

On Wednesday night, the Cavs, winners of five straight games, will host the Brooklyn Nets inside Quicken Loans Arena in what will be the second of four scheduled meetings between the two teams this season. However, they’ll be doing so without the services of several key rotational players, including Iman Shumpert (knee), Derrick Rose (ankle), Tristan Thompson (calf), and Isaiah Thomas (hip).

As most Cavs fans know, Thomas, a two-time All Star, has been sidelined for quite some time due to a hip injury he suffered in last season’s playoffs. Most experts thought the 28-year-old would be cleared for action sometime around January. Now, though, it sounds like his rehabilitation could be slightly ahead of schedule.

According to a report from Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, Thomas had good pace in Wednesday morning’s shootaround. Vardon also noted that the crafty ball-handler went through on-court contact drills with Cavs trainer George Sibel, which is certainly a good sign.

In his 76 games played for the Boston Celtics last season, Thomas — a former Washington Huskies standout — posted some of the best statistical figures of his career, averaging a career-high 28.9 points on 46 percent shooting from the field (career-high), 5.9 assists, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.0 steal per contest.

Without question, Thomas is itching to take the floor with his new teammates. A player of his caliber would certainly help any team’s rotation, but he says he wants to be 100 percent healthy before attempting a return.

Thomas recently released “The Book of Isaiah II,” a documentary series that chronicles his life as he faces the challenges of playing for a new team.

As most hoops fans know, Thomas went through the proverbial ringer last season (and offseason) with regards to his personal life. His younger sister, Chyna, passed away as a result of a car accident in April, just 24 hours before Boston’s Game 1 match-up against the Chicago Bulls in the 2016 Eastern Conference playoffs. Believe it or not, Thomas played the very next night, his emotions clearly on his sleeve.

“That first game was probably the toughest,” Thomas told The Players’ Tribune in their one-on-one interview. “There was no option of not playing. That was just what I was gonna do.

“The people who helped me was my family, my parents, my close friends, the Celtics organization, (head coach) Brad Stevens, the coaching staff, and my teammates,” Thomas continued. “And so many guys reached out — Floyd Mayweather, Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant. I remember Kobe texting and calling me, telling me: ‘Nobody can tell you what to do, but if you do play, play to be the killer that you are. Leave it all out there on the floor.’ And I took that to heart.”

“I had the best year of my career and the worst year of my life at the same time,” Thomas said in his closing remarks.

Thomas and the Celtics made it all the way to the Conference Finals but were defeated by the Cavs in five games. Now, as a result of one of the bigger trades of the 2017 offseason, Thomas finds himself in Northeast Ohio, this time as family.

His story is remarkable as well as inspirational. His drive is relentless (and evident). His return is imminent (and anticipated).

The Land