If the playoffs were to start today the Cleveland Cavaliers would have a long off-season. The struggles of the Cavaliers are no secret to the NBA and everyone knows they are looking forward to their all-star point guard to return from injury. But the question is should Isaiah Thomas be immediately inserted into the starting lineup when he returns?
I think there isn’t a clear-cut answer. Point guard Derrick Rose has shown signs of greatness this season but an ankle injury has caused him to miss six games already. When Rose plays he averages 14 points but only has played seven games this season often leaving the Cavaliers without a true point guard.
The decision of if Thomas comes back as a starter or is slowly inserted back into the rotation is solely on the health and production of Rose. If Rose is healthy, playing at a high level and leading the Cavaliers to victories when Thomas is ready to return I think it would be best to bring Thomas off the bench before you insert him into the starting line up. But also I think Thomas should only spend a few games as a reserve player before he becomes a starter so he can begin to gel with the starters. His injury has already set the Cavaliers behind as far as building team chemistry and I don’t think they should waste much time. Even if it comes at the cost of possibly going through a rough patch so Thomas can begin to feel out the starting lineup.
On the other hand, if the Cavaliers remain in the situation they are in with LeBron James playing point guard I believe they should insert Thomas into the starting lineup immediately. The starting lineup they have now doesn’t have great chemistry so switching things up wouldn’t ruin anything. Their main focus then should be to give the players as much time as possible to play with each other.
When Thomas returns almost every team in the league will have one advantage on the Cavaliers and that’s team Chemistry. Right now the Cavaliers are focused on winning games. But, when Thomas returns I believe their focus will need to shift to solely building team chemistry. So whichever decision helps them build team chemistry the best is what I believe the Cavaliers should go with.
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