CLEVELAND – The Cavaliers-Warriors rivalry has stepped into the forefront of the NBA conversation over the last three years, with each premier team claiming a trio of conference championships en route to the biggest series in the sport.
Neither roster will have a first-string point guard in the next, anticipated battle.
Head coach Tyronn Lue ruled Isaiah Thomas out for Monday’s game against Golden State, the featured match on a loaded Christmas slate. He will join two-time MVP Stephen Curry on the sidelines as part of the holiday festivities.
“He’s out Monday,” said Lue. “Just the same approach we’ve been taking, going through the necessary protocol. He’s been getting better, progressing every day. We’re just going to let him continue to keep doing that, just the same approach.”
Thomas has yet to make his 2017-18 debut due to a hip injury, but he was able to practice with the Canton Charge on Thursday afternoon. No official timetable for a return has surfaced, but he figures to resume play in the coming weeks.
“They had a practice,” Lue said. “Just some defensive things, some shooting and then got right into the scrimmage. I’m really excited to go and watch it because they recorded it.”
The 28-year-old spent the last six seasons between Sacramento (2011-14), Phoenix (2014-15) and Boston (2014-17). He was the 60th pick out of Washington University in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Thomas averaged 28.9 points, 5.9 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 0.9 steals over 33.8 minutes per game throughout the 2016-17 campaign with the Celtics, before landing in Cleveland in a six-player trade involving Kyrie Irving, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and two draft picks.
John Alfes has covered Cleveland sports since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.
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