Not only has Isaiah Thomas had to sit courtside and watch his new team struggle, he's also seeing his former club flourish in Boston.

The Celtics enter tonight's game against the Charlotte Hornets winners of 10 straight. They're in first place in the East, a full five games ahead of the 11th place Cavs, even though they're missing their second-best player in Gordon Hayward.

"I knew they were going to be good," Thomas told cleveland.com. "They won 10 in a row, that's definitely a surprise. That's hard to do. Like, they've got good players, they've got a great coach. That was going to happen. It's not like they traded me and they were going to be a bad team. They were definitely going to be a good team no matter what. They've got good players on top of having a great coaching staff."

Thomas spoke at length with cleveland.com about his pending return to the court with the Cavs, fitting in with LeBron James, and where he thinks he can help a Cleveland team that is obviously struggling.

The Celtics traded Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and two draft picks for Kyrie Irving. Thomas was third in the NBA in scoring last season at 28.9 points per game and an All-Star for the second time, but a hip injury forced him out for most of the Eastern finals against the Cavs.

Irving has taken over for him and is leading the Celtics with 22.0 points and 5.7 assists per game. His numbers are down slightly from the career year he enjoyed with the Cavs a year ago, but the Celtics are the NBA's top-rated defensive team.

The Cavs have the league's worst defense.