Celtics news: Marcus Smart looking forward to see Isaiah Thomas return to TD Garden
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Celtics’ Marcus Smart looking forward to see Isaiah Thomas return to TD Garden

Marcus Smart, Isaiah Thomas, Celtics

Isaiah Thomas is out of the Denver Nuggets rotations and will likely not feature when they take on his former team, the Boston Celtics. Despite that, however, IT will remain the center of attention at TD Garden.

Adoring Celtics fans aren’t the only ones highly anticipating his return to Boston. Former teammate Marcus Smart is also looking forward to watching Thomas “get the love he deserves” during Monday’s game.

“It’s going to feel good to see him. I’m really good friends with Isaiah, just like a lot of guys,” he said, per Brian Robb of the Boston Sports Journal. For him to have the career he’s had and then go through the injury that he went through and everything else after that, you don’t wish that upon any player, especially of his caliber. It will be good to see him and hopefully, he gets the love he deserves.”

Isaiah Thomas played for the Celtics in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, establishing himself as a cult hero of sorts while helping a roster largely consisting of cast-offs and unknowns wildly surpass expectations.

IT finished fifth in MVP voting in 2016-17 after averaging 28.9 points and 5.9 assists per game. Thomas further endeared himself to Boston fans and basketball fans around the world during the 2017 playoffs, when he poured in 33 points less than 24 hours after his younger sister, Chyna, was tragically killed in a car accident.

A hip injury that led to his departure from the Celtics following that season continues to plague him. Thomas, who signed a one-year deal with Denver last summer, is averaging 8.6 points and 1.7 assists in nine games this season while shooting 37.3 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from deep.