With their 101-95 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers won their 13th-straight game.
After getting off to a concerning start, the back-to-back-to-back Eastern Conference champions now sport a 18-7 record and are clearly emerging as one of the most dangerous teams in the league yet again.
On top of that, they've done so without two key players: center Tristan Thompson and point guard Isaiah Thomas, who has yet to make his team debut after being traded as the main piece of the Kyrie Irving deal this past summer.
While Thompson will likely take Channing Frye's spot in the rotation to assume a defensive-oriented and matchup-based role off the bench for the Cavs, Thomas' role is undefined at the moment.
Recovering from a hip ailment, he will likely be eased back into action. But, will he start or come off the bench? Who will coach Tyronn Lue play alongside him? How long will it take until he's able play a 30-plus minute role? Will he even need to play 30 minutes with his supporting cast?
Since Thomas emerged as one of the NBA's top scorers last season with the Celtics, he will undoubtedly eventually take on a very important role within Cleveland's offense, but just how that will happen remains a mystery. The 5'9" guard averaged 28.9 points and 5.9 assists per game last year.
It appears as though Thomas will finally be able to make his highly-anticipated debut in the near future, according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin.
"In what constitutes a significant step in injured Cleveland Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas' rehabilitation process, the two-time All-Star was able to participate in half-court 4-on-4 live play for consecutive days this week," he reported on Wednesday.
Thomas has not played in an official game since he suffered a torn labrum in his right hip in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cavs. McMenamin wrote that the team expects him to make his debut sometime in December.
Although Thomas and Thompson both looked good on Wednesday, LeBron James knows that it's all about how they'll feel on Thursday. "At the end of the day it's all about the next day," James said. "When they say they feel good the next day after a workout session, that's great to know."
As for the team's rotations with Thomas, Thompson, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Love and himself all presumably slated for large numbers of minutes alongside a handful of role players, James admitted that he experimented on a popular video game in an attempt to figure things out.
"I play a lot of 2K," James said. "I've said this before. I play a lot of NBA 2K. It's the most realistic basketball game you could ever play. I mix and match a lot of lineup changes and things of that nature to see how we can be really good. I've done that."
Although Thomas' minutes will likely be monitored closely for the first few games after his return, once he regains health and gets going, there's no telling how unstoppable Cleveland can be.News Now - Sport News