Ken Blaze/USA Today Sports

Wednesday’s Mashup: Isaiah Thomas scores 17 points in Cavaliers debut

Lucy Burdge
January 03, 2018 - 7:57 am

Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire

NBA: Cleveland at Boston, 8 p.m. (ESPN, NBCSB)
NBA: Oklahoma City at LA Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Chicago at NY Rangers, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)


-- Isaiah Thomas made his long-awaited Cavaliers debut on Tuesday night and impressed in his comeback with his new team.

Thomas looked sharp after rehabbing from the hip injury he suffered last season with the Celtics. He played 19 minutes and scored 17 points with three assists in the Cavaliers’ 127-110 win over the Trail Blazers.

"It was a special night for me," Thomas said after the game. "I haven't played in seven months, so to be able to be out there and compete against another team was special. Obviously to get the win was even bigger but just to be able to compete and be out there in a game setting, it was a great feeling for myself."

Thomas entered the game to a standing ovation near the end of the first quarter.

"It was a special moment," Thomas said of the reception. "I haven't played in a game, and you would think I was here for a few years and playing and battling in Finals with this team, but it was special for my family to be here, my wife and kids to see that, that's genuine love right there and I appreciate them patiently waiting and giving me the love they did tonight."

"I mean, my hip is better, but I have no rhythm," Thomas said of his performance. "I have no feel for the game right now. I've been out for so long it feels like I lost my powers. So even when we're out there scrimmaging, I can move around and do what I want, but I just don't have my powers yet."

LeBron James praised his new teammate after the game.

"He's very good, very good. Very dynamic. Can shoot the pill. Can get in the lane. Can pass the ball. He's going to just create so much for our team,” James said. "What I like most about him is he has a chip on his shoulder for life. That's just who he is. When a guy's got a chip on his shoulder for life, he ain't going to -- he's never going to not work hard. Not going to never give it his all. Not going to never disappoint you. Now basketball, you miss shots and things of that nature, and we're not worried about that. You make turnovers, all of that, that's not what I'm saying, but a guy like that -- he's going to always put in the work. And when you put in the work the game is going to always give back to you."

Thomas, who was heartbroken after the Celtics traded him to the Cavaliers in August, thanked the Cleveland fans on Twitter after his debut:

“Cleveland, thank you!!!! Tonight was a very special night for me and y’all made it what it was with the love y’all showed me when I checked in the game. I will always remember tonight. Now let’s keep building, this is only the beginning! #ThatSLOWgrind”

--  LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball left for Lithuania on Tuesday to embark on their new careers as professional basketball players.

The two teenagers were accompanied by their father, LaVar, who plans to spend a few weeks there to get his sons settled. But LaVar doesn’t believe LiAngelo and LaMelo will be in Lithuania for long before coming back to the United States to join the NBA.  

"We'll go over there [to Lithuania> for a hot minute just to let 'em know before these boys get on the Lakers,” LaVar said.

LaVar also said plans to eat hamburgers and hot dogs while abroad.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Really, it’s not in my control. I have talked to the people that are involved and we’ve had a very open line of communication, and it’s not being the first time that it has come up, so this has been quite awhile now. But, we’ll see how it plays out and take it as it comes. It’s not anything I can control.” -- Bill Belichick, on members of his coaching staff reportedly receiving interest from other teams to interview for jobs


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