Isaiah Thomas thinks he is ready to play 40 minutes
After missing his team’s first 36 games of the season, Isaiah Thomas finally made his debut with the Cleveland Cavaliers last night. It was Thomas’ first official game since being knocked out of the NBA playoffs in Game 5 of the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals last May by the Cavaliers in his last game as a Celtic, before then being traded to the team that beat him.
In his return, Thomas played 18 minutes off the bench, scoring 17 points on 6-for-11 field goals and adding three assists, nothing short of impressive for a player in his first game back from a serious hip injury. While Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue said previously that he would slowly start increasing Thomas’ minutes and eventually give him his starting lineup spot, Thomas appeared to feel so good about his performance that said he was ready to take a much heavier workload immediately.
Sam Amico of Amico Hoops reported: “Cavs’ Isaiah Thomas on how many minutes he believes he is ready to play: ‘40.’”
It is not often to see a player get more than 40 minutes in a regulation game, let alone a player who is still making his way back from injury. LeBron James, Thomas’ teammate, is one of the few players in the league who cracks the 40 minutes mark more frequently when his team needs him on the court.
While Thomas could have been speaking sarcastically and in a joking tone, do not expect him to play over 40 minutes anytime soon. He will not play tonight against his former team, the Boston Celtics, as he is still being held out on one game from back-to-back sets for safety while easing his way back into the starting lineup.