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Why Isaiah Thomas DNP vs. Minnesota casts doubt on his Nuggets future

Why Isaiah Thomas DNP vs. Minnesota casts doubt on his Nuggets future
Published On: Wed, Mar 13
May 17, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas represents his team during the NBA draft lottery at New York Hilton Midtown. The Philadelphia 76ers received the first overall pick in the 2016 draft. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

For once, the most interesting wrinkle of Michael Malonea€™s latest Nuggets rotation wasna€™t who he played. It was who heA didna€™t.

Offensively, Denvera€™s 133-107 win over Minnesota late Tuesday night at theA Pepsi CenterA was a banner evening: A barrage of 3-pointers a€” 18 makes on just 30 attempts. Crisp passing and an even crisper tempo. A 19-8 advantage in second-chance points. The most assists a€” 40 in all a€” recorded in a single game by a Nuggets crew since 2013.

It had a little bit of everything.

Everything, that is, except forA Isaiah Thomas.

Coach Michael Malone may have dropped a tiny hint as to his possible postseason rotation versus the Timberwolves, which was notable on two fronts. First, that said minutes were primarily split among eight guys. And second, that Thomas, the 30-year-old point guard who only returned to the fold last month, wasna€™t one of those eight.

a€œObviously, 16 (regular-season) games to go, (wea€™re going to) try to find a rhythm,a€ said Malone, who didna€™t play Thomas in the 26-point victory. a€œAnd a rotation that I feel gives us the best chance to win now, and into the playoffs.a€

Thomas, who had appeared in each of the Nuggetsa€™ nine previous games in which he averaged 15.6 minutes, 8.6 points, 1.7 assists and 1.8 turnovers off the bench, was the only active player not to appear for the home side, even after Denver extended its margin in the fourth period.

Malone said he plans on keeping the rotation smaller down the final few weeks of the regular season, and had explained the rotation to Thomas, whom hea€™d previously coached in Sacramento, before the game.

Read the complete news article here...

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