Will Isaiah Thomas Face Celtics? Stephen A. Smith Can't Understand Cavaliers' Decision to Rest Him in Boston

The Cleveland Cavaliers travel to TD Garden on Wednesday night to take on the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics, in perhaps the biggest game for either team since they met on October 17, opening night.

Isaiah Thomas, though, won't be suiting up against the team he left in the summer. Thomas played 19 minutes on his comeback, and Cavaliers debut, against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night. He scored 17 points, including a trademark layup, and tacked on three assists, looking as much like his old Celtics self as the Cavaliers could have hoped for. "He's very good, very good," LeBron James said of his new point guard in quotes reported by ESPN. "Very dynamic. Can shoot the pill [ball]. Can get in the lane. Can pass the ball. He's going to just create so much for our team."

Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue will integrate Thomas slowly, however, as he seeks to regain his sharpness following the hip injury that kept him out of the Cavaliers' first 36 games of this season. Boston.com reported on Monday that Thomas will not play back-to-back games as he "builds up strength". That aggravated certain members of the media, including ESPN SportsCenter commentator Stephen A. Smith. "Hey guess what," Smith said after Thomas's Cavaliers debut. "If you can play tonight against Portland, how come I can't see you Wednesday night on national television against Boston. Where you starred last year, a city that loves you, that has embraced you, that misses you even though they love themselves Kyrie because they appreciate the fact that you wanted to stay there. I don't understand why he [Thomas] couldn't have played tonight."

That means there will be no tribute video aired for the 28-year-old two-time All-Star at TD Garden on Wednesday night. Thomas only wants a video aired when he actually plays the Celtics for the first time as a member of the Cavaliers.

That wish dragged Thomas into a dispute on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon. "@isaiahthomas ego may be even bigger than @KingJames! No tribute video? Get over yourself! #Celtics #Cavs", Boston Bruins reporter Jimmy Murphy tweeted. Thomas replied: "Get over myself huh? Because I would like to actually PLAY & have my family in the arena to appreciate the LOVE the city/organization will show US? It ain't about me it's about my family... Ha you get over yourself you dumbass".

In Thomas's absence in Boston, Tyronn Lue will probably turn back to veteran Jose Calderon as his starting point guard. Calderon rotated with Derrick Rose earlier in the year while Thomas was still recovering from his hip injury.