Former NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas explodes for 42 points in dazzling G League debut with Nuggets affiliate
It’s hard to believe, but less than five years ago Isaiah Thomas was named to the All-NBA Second Team as a member of the Boston Celtics. Since then his path has been particularly rocky, having played just 87 total games over the past four seasons, including just three last year with the New Orleans Pelicans, in large part due to a lingering injury to the hip which ultimately required surgery.
Thomas has not given up though and seems determined in his quest to return to the NBA. On Wednesday night, he took the next leg of his journey, preparing for the Grand Rapids Gold – the Denver Nuggets branch – on his G League debut. Safe to say Thomas made a favorable first impression.
The 5-foot-9, 32-year-old goaltender had 42 points, eight assists, six rebounds and five 3-pointers in the 131-127 gold loss to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Thomas showed off his vintage arsenal of 3-pointers, finishing at the rim and making it easier for his teammates, and appeared to have solid flurry and quickness.
While it’s exciting to see Thomas posting similar numbers in his NBA All-Star days, it’s best not to read too much into the performance when it comes to his potential return to the NBA. Keep in mind that Indiana Pacers backup center Goga Bitadze – whose career NBA peak is 14 points – had 38 points, 14 rebounds and five assists for Fort Wayne on Wednesday against Thomas and the Gold.
You can never rule out a return to the NBA for Thomas, as he always showed the ability to score and shoot, even during his later years in the league. In his last semi-full season in the NBA, Thomas averaged 12.2 points per game while achieving 41% of his 3 points with the Washington Wizards. His defensive impairments have become more common as he ages, but Thomas could certainly carve out a bench role for himself in the right situation if he can keep getting buckets. Whether or not he returns to the NBA, however, it’s fun to see a familiar face having a good night out on the court.
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