No Hayward, no Thomas, plenty for Celtics, Cavs to play for

Esther Moore
January 3, 2018

As hard as getting on the court has been for Thomas, though, it's what happens next that will surely prove tougher. Ever since I stepped foot in Cleveland, it's been all genuine love, and it's insane because I haven't played yet.

Now, the situation is much better and it appears that Isaiah Thomas is back at 100 percent.

The Cavaliers and Trail Blazers will face off in Cleveland at 7 p.m. ET Tuesday night on NBA TV.

Speaking to reporters on Monday at Cavaliers practice, Thomas said he understands why he won't be allowed to play on Wednesday - he makes his season debut on Tuesday and the Cavs don't want him playing back to back yet - but he'll get another shot at the C's when the teams meet in Boston on February 11.

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According to ESPN, a source told the site that Thomas may only play eight to 12 minutes in his debut, but the Cavaliers and Lue have not provided any information to confirm that. Of course, this won't be the case over the course of the season as Thomas will eventually make his way into the starting lineup. A rocky start may be partially blamed on point guard struggles, as Derrick Rose suffered another devastating injury which has kept him out for a large portion of this season.

The next Cavaliers visit to the Garden is on February 11, which also happens to be the night the Celtics plan to retire Paul Pierce's number.

The prospect of playing against Irving on the Garden parquet is something that gets Thomas' energy up; he couldn't help but break into a wide smile on Friday when a reporter mentioned the upcoming Celtics game. Considering that the Cavaliers will play in Boston on a second night of a back-to-back, this doesn't come as a surprise. He finally has been cleared to play in a game.

Then they went through the most absurd offseason we have ever seen with a complete roster turnover, helping set up this team for this generation and the next.

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