Isaiah Thomas is back for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he won’t be back for a pivotal Eastern Conference showdown with his former team on Wednesday. Thomas will play on Tuesday after missing the first 36 games of the regular season, but the Cavaliers are being careful with his return to play.
That means that he won’t play back-to-back games, including a huge showdown against the Celtics on Wednesday. It would have been Thomas’ first game back in Boston since the summer swap between the two teams that sent Kyrie Irving to the Celtics.
But Thomas not playing presents an uncomfortable bit of format for the Celtics. Should they honor Thomas with a video if he’s not on the court? According to reports on Tuesday, the answer is no. But it’s also an answer that Thomas himself directed.