What could have been doesn’t matter.
What was, was. Isaiah Thomas was cleared to play just before the All-Star break and had several opportunities, with injuries in the backcourt to capture minutes and return to the form that made him a league-wide star.
Few players are popular everywhere like Thomas is, his personality and desire are infectious. His teammates adore him, we’ve seen Boston fans beg him to find a way back to the Celtics roster, he’s immensely popular in his home state of Washington. He’s active and engaging on social media and for a star of his caliber, he is surprisingly approachable.
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IT is a neat dude and almost everyone pulls for him.
Unfortunately, things did not work out for Thomas in Denver. We didn’t see the explosiveness that defines his game. What we saw was a man that looked like a shell of the MVP candidate from just three seasons ago.
It’s an awkward situation, the fans and to some extent the team expected to see the All-Star and Coach Malone gave a serious look to Thomas after the break. IT was not able to come through, hitting at a dismal 34% clip from the field and an even more alarming 27% from three. Worse for IT, he averaged 1.5 turnovers in just 15 minutes of gameplay.
Honestly, he looked slow and uncertain, his biggest role for the Nuggets was as a bench coach and supportive teammate.
We truly hope that if IT still has some of the star left in him, he finds the situation to display that. We hoped it was here in Denver but his play and Monte Morris’ rise made the Nuggets a nearly impossible place for Thomas to get well.
Hoop well, IT, you will be greatly missed in Denver.