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Returning Thomas' performance 'the last thing' James will think about

77   //    02 Jan 2018, 23:13 IST
IsaiahThomas - cropped
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas

LeBron James is excited to welcome Isaiah Thomas onto the floor for the Cleveland Cavaliers and insisted his performance is "the last thing we'll think about".

Thomas will make his first appearance for the Cavs since arriving in the trade that sent Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday.

The All-Star guard will feature from the bench under a strict minutes restriction having yet to make an appearance this season due to a hip injury, though he will not play against the Celtics on Wednesday.

James acknowledged Thomas is lacking rhythm and is eager for his team-mate to return without the weight of any expectations.

"He's excited to once again grace an NBA floor and actually play. We're excited for him as well," James told reporters.

"We expect him to be gassed, we expect him to be very emotional about his whole journey, just getting back. As far as the performance, that the last thing we'll think about.

"He looked a little out of rhythm [when scrimmaging], obviously - the man hasn't played the game for seven months. I think anybody would be out of rhythm no matter what you do in life, taking six or seven months out of what you do best."

On how the Cavs will integrate Thomas into the team, James added: "It's for us to figure it out, we don't know. He's been around for the last few months recovering, but we don't know until we get out there.

"I watched a lot of film on him, played against him a lot over the last couple of years so I know what he's good at and what he does best, so it's very important for myself and us to see how he can be the best for our team."

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