Isaiah Thomas is clearly not himself.
Thomas averaged 28.9 points per game last season while leading the Boston Celtics to the Eastern Conference finals. However, after taking more than six months to recover from a hip injury, the 29-year-old is visibly still a step slow.
Through five games with the Cleveland Cavaliers, he's averaging 13.6 points on 36.1 percent shooting from the field. And while he had a few promising performances, Thomas has been uneven at best as he tries to play his way back into form.
Only, the veteran-laden Cavaliers, who boast the oldest roster in the league, practice less than any other team in the league, which leaves him with little opportunity aside from game action to catch his stride.
"(Playing games) is the only thing that's gonna help me because we don't practice. Only thing that's going to help me is getting reps," Thomas told reporters after Monday's loss to the Golden State Warriors.
"Running up and down the floor, getting my hip, getting my body accustomed to getting a beating and to run up and down the floor and getting into basketball shape. That's the only thing that's going to help me."
Thomas played a season-high 32 minutes Monday and scored 19 points. That was a welcome bounce-back effort from the four points he put up in a 34-point blowout at the hands of the Toronto Raptors, in which he shot 2-of-15, drawing front iron on most of his jumpers.
"Like I keep saying, I gotta get my legs back. Especially when I get winded, my legs get even heavier. I just gotta keep pushing and keep working and it'll come back," Thomas said.