Coming back from hip injuries is tough. Think about it — we always worry about knees, ankles, and feet with NBA player injuries and those are important. But the hips are where all of those things start — bad hips mean you’re toast.
That’s why it’s incredible that Isaiah Thomas was able to get back to basketball without having surgery. In his debut for the Cavaliers, Thomas dropped 17 points and three assists in 19 minutes and looked like he’d been playing on this team for years.
But that’s just a testament to how good a player he is. There’s not much of an adjustment needed for Thomas, who has the NBA’s most translatable skill: Getting buckets.
I’m not saying there won’t be any bumps in the road or Thomas may not take steps back — he could. But if Tuesday was any indication, he’ll fit in just fine with LeBron James and company. And that should scare the hell out of the rest of the East.
Speaking of James ...
There’s no way we can talk about the Cavaliers and not talk about how incredible he is every night. He dropped 24 points, eight assists, six rebounds, and four steals in just 34 minutes tonight. Thomas made things a little bit easier on him, giving him a break to start the fourth quarter and he was loving it.
.@KingJames reacts to the @cavs win and @IsaiahThomas' return to the court. #PlayersOnly pic.twitter.com/n9UU2wlBPM— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 3, 2018
“He’s very good. Very good. Very dynamic — can shoot the pill. Can get in the lane. He can pass the ball. He’s going to create so much for our team,” James said.
“I just told I.T. ‘Be you, man. Be you. You ain’t gotta try to fit in. Just be you. If you on the floor and you’ve got a look, we want you to take those looks. Two on the ball, you find somebody. Just be you and let the game speak for yourself.’ He did better than everybody expected.”
It sounds like this could be the beginning of a great relationship in Cleveland.
The Suns had an incredible comeback that doesn’t matter
But it was still super fun to watch. The Hawks were up on the Suns by 12 points with five minutes to go and had a 101-96 lead with 42 seconds left on the clock.
It didn’t matter. Devin Booker dropped 34 points including 15 in the fourth quarter. TJ Warren had 31. Marquese Chriss did this:
Tyson Chandler was feeling it!
Not only was it one of the more fun comebacks this season, it was flat out improbable.
Never say never in today’s NBA.
Gregg Popovich is the fifth winningest coach in NBA history
He passed George Karl Tuesday night with the Spurs’ win over the Knicks. It’s Popovich’s 1,176th win in his coaching career.
Congrats to @spurs Coach Gregg Popovich for moving up to 5th on the NBA’s ALL-TIME COACHING WINS list! pic.twitter.com/MlDTX5ZtK5— NBA (@NBA) January 3, 2018
And, of course, in true Popovich fashion, he took absolutely no credit for it.
Gregg Popovich on passing George Karl for 5th on the NBA's all-time coaching wins list: "I don't remember scoring any points or getting any rebounds" pic.twitter.com/STfNcYHI5g— Kenny Ducey (@KennyDucey) January 3, 2018
“I don’t remember scoring any points or getting any rebounds. I certainly would not pass the ball. So I’ve got no idea,” Popovich said.
Well played, Pop. Pat Riley is up next on the list with 1,210 wins. Popovich will need 35 more to pass him and move to fourth all-time. But, much like tonight, I’m sure it won’t matter for him.
Patrick Ewing is truly a savage
OK. I know it’s not the NBA, but I had to show y’all this.
Coach Patrick Ewing does not sugarcoat it pic.twitter.com/fz98MTIgQY— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) January 3, 2018
I mean, what the hell are you supposed to say as a player here? It sounds like whoever our culprit is told Ewing he does indeed practice that shot. That was his second mistake. The first was taking that shot in the first place.
I bet you whoever he was won’t be taking that shot anymore. He might be riding the bench.
- thomas is still King of the Fourth
- NBA fans are tricking people into helping their favorite players rack up all-star votes
- The Sixers' G-League team is wearing Spongebob Squarepants uniforms for Nickelodeon night
- Cavs fans already love Thomas
- YO, MICHAEL BEASELY GOT THAT TOUCH
- Why didn’t this shot count?!?
- Thomas’ son is soooo funny!
- The Hawks are actively embracing the tank and I can’t feel my kidneys.
Cavaliers 127, Trail Blazers 110 (Fear the Sword recap | Blazers’ Edge recap)
Spurs 100, Knicks 91 (Pounding the Rock recap | Posting and Toasting recap)
Suns 104, 103 (Peachtree Hoops recap | Bright Side of the Sun recap)
Hornets 131, Kings 111 (At the Hive recap | Sactown Royalty recap)
Clippers 113, Grizzlies 105 (Clips Nation recap | Grizzly Bear Blues recap)