With last night's victory, the Cavs are tied with Golden State for the best record in the National Basketball Association at 20-5 (.800) since November 11, 2017. But he will not play Wednesday against the Celtics at the Garden.
Brown provided the highlight of the night with a reverse jam in the third quarter, and Tatum did a couple excellent Kyrie Irving impressions, seemingly weaving through every player on the Cavs roster to get to the hoop.
Isaiah Thomas revealed Wednesday that Danny Ainge texted him the night before and they have buried the hatchet. "It's what you appreciate the most about team sports". They've given me the opportunity to be who I always wanted to be.
Pierce was drafted 10th overall in the 1998 NBA Draft and spent 15 seasons with the Celtics. The only game in which the Cavs have shot worse was Christmas Day against the Golden State Warriors. "I hadn't even played in a game, so you think I would have been here a few years and battled in the Finals with this team". Thomas, however, doesn't contribute much on defense due to his size and his lack of effort.
"It only stung me when it happened", he said. He was a great player in the time that he spent with us - certainly had a year that was nearly unmatched by anybody last year. That's the bigger thing. Try to get them like some movement, some energy. It hurts no matter what team you get traded from.
After the game, a 102-88 Boston win, it was the Celtics players' turn to show Thomas some love. "I'm sure I'm pretty excited and I know we are excited and it is going to be a fun game". They just play off each other. If I don't, I stay ready. The story of the regular season is going to be how the point guard swap works out, TD Garden was going to celebrate everything Thomas did last season, and that is just the top stories. "I have no feel for the game right now".
"I enjoyed watching that throughout the game", Pierce said.
"Nah, but he sent me one the last two years", Thomas said, continuing to smile.
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So at least the Seahawks' bye is in a more optimal time of late October, close to the midway point of the 16-game regular season. Teams don't like giving up home games, but the ones that are most vulnerable are the ones that have trouble selling tickets.
Even on Wednesday, Thomas acknowledged that the trade hurt. But the 5-foot-9 playmaker, who inspired the Celtics and an entire city a year ago by playing in the immediate aftermath of his sister's death, patiently stuck with his rehab. But it needs to be done for the Cavs to have the best chance of maximizing their potential come playoff time. I'm glad I'm back.
"We haven't played well as of late so we are trying to figure that out as well". He's not playing back-to-backs right now.
Cleveland has less than four months to get Thomas fully back and into the starting rotation.
James ended his media remarks with a throwaway line that didn't show the same level of confidence, however. "I watch them a lot".
Still, Boston was the place Thomas became a star, where he ran the team, where he averaged a remarkable 28.9 points per game last season. The next time Thomas is slated to visit the Celtics, the team is already set to retire the No. 34 jersey of Paul Pierce - who said Thursday he is not particularly interested in sharing the spotlight.
It might very well have been the first of many cryptic statements by James if the Cavs don't start to dig themselves out of this hole soon.