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Suns’ Jamal Crawford believes Nuggets’ Isaiah Thomas is going to be a ‘bigger monster’

Jamal Crawford, Isaiah Thomas

Phoenix Suns shooting guard Jamal Crawford and Denver Nuggets point guard Isaiah Thomas are almost like brothers. Both players are from the Washington area and talk to each other almost every day. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Crawford believes Thomas is going to kill it for Denver when he returns from his hip injury.

Isaiah Thomas underwent arthroscopic hip surgery in March. The two-time All-star signed a one-year free-agent deal with the Nuggets in July after splitting time last season with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers. Jamal Crawford knows how much Thomas loves the game of basketball and how good he’s going to be once he steps back onto the floor.

“It’s going to create an even bigger monster, how hungry he’ll be to get back out on that court,” Crawford said, via Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe. “He loves basketball and he’d be hungry if he missed one game. The fact that he missed all this time, he’s going to be a monster.

“With him, nothing’s ever come easy, so why expect it now? Not that he did, but in general that’s just his journey. He’s doing well, considering everything. He’s working to get back. He loves the game as much as anybody I’ve ever been around, so I know it’s killing him.”

After averaging 28.9 points per game with the Boston Celtics in the 2016-17 season, Isaiah Thomas has had a rough go of it. The hip injury he suffered forced him to miss the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals. Then, Boston traded him to the Cavs for Kyrie Irving in the summer of 2017. Thomas was excited to play with LeBron James in Cleveland, but it wasn’t a good fit for the scoring guard and the Cavs traded him to the Lakers at the 2018 February trade deadline.

Isaiah Thomas played 17 games for the Lakers before he had surgery in March. There is still no timetable for his return to the court, but the Nuggets don’t even need his services right now. Denver enters Thursday with a record of 21-9, first place in the Western Conference.