Thomas averaged 23.3 points per game for Boston in the postseason, including 27.4 points in Boston's Eastern Conference Semifinals win over the Washington Wizards. He played hurt through the first two rounds of the playoffs, then was furious that Boston traded him.
Thomas has never played a game in a Cleveland uniform and was part of the trade during the offseason that send Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics.
The star guard spoke to the media Monday about missing the game against his former team, promising to be ready for the teams' next game February 11 at TD Garden. Lue said that Thomas would not play on consecutive nights early during his comeback.
"I know where I am right now, and I wouldn't want to put myself out there to just try to force it", Thomas said. "I can wait until February".
"I keep saying that I gave that city everything I had and they showed me genuine love back, and I think that love is going to last forever". This ain't no revenge game. They knew what they got. The Bulls lost for only the fourth time in 14 games since Mirotic returned to the lineup after suffering facial injuries following a dispute with teammate Bobby Portis.
"It won't be that tough 'cause I know where I am right now". I haven't played in so long, so man it's going to be a weird feeling tomorrow, but I'm happy.
"With the games coming, it's got to give me an opportunity to get my rhythm back, get my feel back, and it might take some time, but at the same time, the progress that I've made is all good and positive progress, and I'm excited about the opportunity to be able to get out there and compete". He told NBC Sports Northwest that he could have played Monday against the Bulls and intends to play against the Cavs.
PORTLAND 124, CHICAGO 120: In Chicago, C.J. McCollum scored 25 of his 32 points after halftime, including the tiebreaking basket with 56.5 seconds remaining in overtime, and the Trail Blazers beat the Bulls. Ever since I stepped foot in Cleveland, it's been all genuine love, and it's insane because I haven't played yet. "The NBA didn't do us any favors".