INDEPENDENCE (92.3 The Fan) – When the Cavs dealt Kyrie Irving to the Celtics last summer they got pieces back to help them presently as well as in the future – guard Isaiah Thomas and Brooklyn’s 2018 first-round pick, which was expected to be a top-end of the lottery selection.
Brooklyn is tied with Phoenix for the seventh-worst record in the NBA while Thomas is still trying to return to his usual self as he continues to work his way back into shape from a right hip injury that sidelined him for the first 3 months of the season.
“I knew it was going be be like this,” Thomas said Sunday following practice. “I have no legs, so it’s gonna take some tie for me to get back. Even when I played well those first 2 games I told coach [Tyronn] Lue it didn’t feel right. It was kinda fool’s gold. Shots were just going in but none of my movements, none of the things I usually do felt normal.”
In his first 2 games as a Cavalier, Thomas started hot totaling 36 points on 13 of 25 shooting but in his last 2 outings he has shot just 5 of 26 from the field and scored 13 points.
“It’s going to be like that for a while so I just gotta be patient,” Thomas said. “I’m my biggest critic. I’m not a patient person so it’s killing me. I’m used to stepping on the court and being special. Now I gotta work my way back, get my legs back, get my legs back to where I’m playing at a high level and I just know it’s going to take time.”
Thomas estimated that it’ll take “15-20 games, maybe a month” to get back to where he feels like himself again.
The Cavaliers, who won 18 of 19 games from From Nov. 11 to Dec. 17, are coming off of an awful road trip that saw them lose 4 of 5 including a 14-point loss in Boston, 28 at Minnesota, 34 at Toronto and a 2-point loss at Indiana that saw them blow a 22-point lead.
“At the beginning of the year we didn’t play well and for everybody else it was like the end of the season, it was like the end of the world,” Thomas said. “I think we ran off 18 of 19 and then everybody loved us [again]. Now we’re back to how we started and we just gotta get ourselves out of this hole.”
Thomas swears that despite the turbulent stretch in which they’ve lost 8 of 11, the waters are pretty calm around the team regardless of the noise that continues to surround it.
“We’re no way in panic mode,” Thomas said. “It’s only January. I know I’ve only played in 4 games after being off 7 months so there’s no need to panic but we gotta be prideful. We gotta take anything we do negative, anything we do that’s not good on the court, take that serious and look in in the mirror and see what you can do to help this team win.”