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It appears as if Isaiah Thomas has fallen out of the Denver Nuggets’ rotation and it only took about nine games.
Hard to believe Thomas led the Eastern Conference in scoring at 28.9 points just two years ago. But that was when he was with the Boston Celtics and before he suffered a major hip injury in the 2017 conference finals vs. Cleveland.
Thomas is 5-foot-9 and hasn’t been the same player since, fitting in poorly last season with the Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers before hitting free agency.
Now, Nuggets coach Mike Malone has decided to shorten the rotation, leaving Thomas on the bench.
“Oh, you definitely talk to him [about the decision], and I’ll keep that conversation between IT and myself,” Malone said, via the Denver Post. “[It’s] not an easy conversation, but that’s my job.”
Thomas, 30, is on a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum. He is averaging 8.6 points and 1.6 assists in 15.6 minutes.
But the Nuggets have been one of the West’s top-two teams all season. They were just fine without Thomas and likely will be again next season — as he is most likely to spend the summer looking for a new place to play.
“It’s never about Isaiah. It’s never about any individual,” Malone added. “It’s about what I think is best for our team. And I made the decision to shorten the rotation, only played eight guys in the first quarter.
“And I’m going to continue to do that for the time being.”