Isaiah Thomas met with reporters on Friday following the Celtics departure from the playoffs on Thursday night.

The All-Star guard gave updates on his health, as well as commenting on the state of his career.

After being sidelined with a hip injury following Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals, the seriousness of the injury was unclear.

Isaiah Thomas spoke to reporters on Friday after the Celtics season ended Thursday. (Brad Mills/USA Today Sports)

Isaiah Thomas spoke to reporters on Friday after the Celtics season ended Thursday. (Brad Mills/USA Today Sports)

Isaiah Thomas met with reporters on Friday following the Celtics departure from the playoffs on Thursday night.

The All-Star guard gave updates on his health, as well as commenting on the state of his career.

After being sidelined with a hip injury following Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals, the seriousness of the injury was unclear.

Fortunately, it looks as though Thomas may not have to go under the knife.

“[Surgery is] not the number one option right now, but it could be once the swelling goes down.” Thomas told reporters. “Hopefully I don’t have to have surgery, but I know that is an option.”

Thomas said the injury was first picked up back in March after a hard fall. 

“Since I fell down in March I think that’s what aggravated it. And then I just continued to play on it, … and then it just, it gave out. We knew that would happen at some point.” he said. “They knew I wasn’t going to sit out until I couldn’t move no more, and that’s what happened.”

When asked how long he thinks he will be out this summer, Thomas admitted he has no idea, and while not his strong suit, he will need to simply be patient.

“I couldn’t tell you that, I don’t know honestly,” he said. “But everybody just saying I got to be patient, I’ve never been patient in my life so this is going to be a tough summer, but I got to do what’s best for me in the long run, what’s best for my body. … Nobody’s going to feel sorry for me, I just got to keep going and figure out what I’ve got to do to come back at the highest level possible.”

For Thomas, that level was an incredible 28.9 points and 5.9 assists per game. The guard emphasized that he is going to work with doctors to come back at nothing less than that.

“Whatever they got to do help me to continue that and play at a, not just at a normal level, at an MVP level,” he said. “That’s what I’ve been on them doctors about, and everybody on that training staff is. No matter what happens, Let’s make sure I come back even better, and I will.”

Going into the playoffs, after a season that saw him on the All-NBA second team, Thomas received devastating news that his sister had passed away in a car crash.

“It made me look back to see how fast everything can be taken away from you,” he said. “Definitely humbles yourself. It’s been the best season of my career but it’s also been, as you guys know, the toughest, the toughest year of my life. However you want to take that, that’s how this season has been.”

Thomas has one-year left on his contract, so an extension is possible this offseason, but the guard won’t be thinking about it.”

“I would love [an extension],” he said. “But if it don’t happen, I’m the last person to be bothered by that.”

Whatever decisions are made, it is clear that Boston has become a special place for Thomas.

“Boston’s changed my career, changed my life,” he said. “I would love to be here long-term and win championships here.”

Blog Author: 
Sam Alberti

Jaylen Brown was one of the positives in the Celtics' run. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Jaylen Brown was one of the positives in the Celtics’ run. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

The Celtics suffered another crushing defeat at the hands of the Cavaliers Thursday night, 135-102, and with it a swift exit from the Eastern Conference finals.

Jaylen Brown made it clear that losing this series did not sit well with him.

“Getting to the Eastern Conference finals and losing, it builds a hunger,” Brown said to reporters following the loss. “I have a bad taste in my mouth. Got to put in work in the offseason and come back even stronger.”

An even stronger Brown is exactly what the Celtics will need next year, as they look to build on this season’s success. 

Going into the offseason, the rookie is looking to improve all facets of his game.

“I think I’m an all-around basketball player,” he said. “Shooting — a lot of people doubted my jump-shooting ability this year and still doubting. I’m going to keep improving every year, that’s my goal,” Brown said. “Ball-handling, I want to really focus on making plays for others. Just continue to get better in every aspect of my game. I don’t consider myself a position. I just consider myself a basketball player.”

Brown had an impressive conference finals, averaging nine points and three rebounds, while shooting 58.6 percent from the floor. Including a playoff career-high 19 point performance in Game 2. He also showed his potential to be a a great two-way player, taking on the near impossible assignment of trying to slow down LeBron James. 

Playing important minutes throughout the Celtics playoff run, Brown has gained invaluable experience as a rookie. Experience rarely gained by top lottery picks.

“Just being on a winning team, building good habits and learning how to win. Playing the game the right way,” Brown said. “Get your teammates involved. Learning that at a young age — all the older guys tell me that’s really going to help me. A lot of good players, they don’t learn that early. They figure it out three, four or five years in. I’m happy I learned it now and I’ll continue to learn now, and I just got to apply it — this summer is going to be a big summer for me. I’m super excited. As soon as my hip heels up I’ll be back in the gym.”

While the future looks bright, with the Celtics holding both the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft and Brooklyn’s first-rounder in 2018, Brown is not letting that distract him.

“I’m excited about the now, to be honest,” Brown said. “I’m excited about this summer. I try not to look too far ahead towards the future because everybody talks about the future and how much potential we have and how much potential I have. I’m worried about the now. I want to be part of the now. That’s what I’m focused on.”

Blog Author: 
Sam Alberti

Jazz forward Gordon Hayward, shooting over Golden State's Zaza Pachulia in the playoffs, could be a great fit in Boston.</p>
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Kyrie Irving dominated the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals. (David Richard/USA Today Sports)

Kyrie Irving dominated the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals. (David Richard/USA Today Sports)

Despite all the talk about the dominance of LeBron James, who heads to his seventh consecutive NBA Finals next week, in many ways it was the play of Kyrie Irving that proved to be the undoing of the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals.

The sixth-year point guard was outstanding throughout the series, averaging 25.8 points per game. This was highlighted by his 42-point performance in Game 4, a contest where LeBron had four fouls in the first half for the first time in his career.

Following the Cavs victory and elimination of Boston on Thursday night, Irving heaped praise on the Celtics and their injured leader Isaiah Thomas.

“You have to commend them for accomplishing what they did, especially in the regular season,” Irving said to reporters. “I mean, the goals that they set, they were definitely challenging for us, and it made the league turn for a little bit, just 1 versus 2, 2, 1, who was going to get first place and who was actually ready for the playoffs. That makes basketball exciting. That makes the league exciting. And the fashion that they were playing basketball was at such a high level.”

Thomas, whose extraordinary season and courageous playoff performance was cut short, did not appear in the final three games of the series due to an injured hip.

Irving expressed dismay at the loss of Thomas and complimented his play.

“Honestly we didn’t want IT to go down,” Irving said. “But the way that guy has played, I mean, the way he was playing, he’s deserving of all the credit that he’s gotten. As well as guys like Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk and just all their guys. They’re just dedicated to basketball. They’re coming out and their hitting us, and they don’t care who you are. I was watching before tonight’s game the game that they played in Golden State. And the way, in the fashion that they did that [beating the Warriors at Oracle Arena]. That was the testament, that was the turn of how special they could be. And that made it this far. And it was 1 versus 2. It was a matchup that we were all looking forward to, and I’m glad that we prevailed. But they tested us every single minute, and we needed that.”

Blog Author: 
Nick Neville

When the Celtics signed Al Horford to a max contract last summer, they knew the 6-foot-10 center would make an immediate impact, but few expected him to help lead the team to the Eastern Conference finals.

That’s exactly what he and this Celtics team did, and while they fell short of their ultimate goal, Horford views his first year in Boston as a success.

Al Horford played well in his first season in Boston. (Ken Blaze/USA Today Sports)

Al Horford played well in his first season in Boston. (Ken Blaze/USA Today Sports)

When the Celtics signed Al Horford to a max contract last summer, they knew the 6-foot-10 center would make an immediate impact, but few expected him to help lead the team to the Eastern Conference finals.

That’s exactly what he and this Celtics team did, and while they fell short of their ultimate goal, Horford views his first year in Boston as a success.

“I’m proud of our group,” Horford said to reporters following the Celtics’ 135-102 loss to Cleveland in Game 5 on Thursday night. “I felt like we grew as the year went on. Not the way that we wanted to finish, but I felt like we came a long way from the beginning of the year, and we came together, and that was fun to be a part of.”

Horford finished the regular season averaging 14 points, 6.8 rebounds and five assists per game, but perhaps his most significant contribution was on the defensive end. He served as an anchor for a young Celtics team in search of tough big men and many of the things Horford does best do not show up on the box score. He is one of the best passing big men in the NBA, and his versatility was evident throughout the playoffs.  

Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Wizards was the quintessential Horford game. The 30-year-old shot 6-of-9 from the field, dropped 21 points and was one assist away from a triple-double.

Though his rebounding numbers were the lowest of his career this season, he found his niche in Boston. His outside shot has improved in recent years, and his ability to drain the three consistently helps stretch the defense and spread the floor. He shot .355 from 3-point range during the regular season, but upped that percentage to .519 during the playoffs.

Horford, who had been swept by LeBron James four times as a member of the Hawks before this series, knows a thing or two about James’ dominance in the Eastern Conference. Does he think this Celtics team has what it takes to dethrone the King next season?

“You know, that’s a good question,” Horford said. “We think we have a good group of guys, guys that compete, that play hard, and we still have to keep growing as a group, getting better and we obviously see that the team to get past is Cleveland. Right now we’re not there. We’re not where we need to be, but I’m proud of our guys.”

Blog Author: 
Nick Neville

In the moments after becoming the NBA’s all-time leading playoff scorer in a Game 5 rout of the Celtics and heading to the NBA Finals for a seventh straight year, LeBron James began his press conference Thursday night talking about his friend, Isaiah Thomas.

The superstar came up to Thomas after the game on the court and gave him an embrace. After the game, he explained why.

May 25, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) and Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) meet after game five of the Eastern conference finals of the NBA Playoffs at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James and Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas meet after game five of the Eastern conference finals of the NBA Playoffs at the TD Garden. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

In the moments after becoming the NBA’s all-time leading playoff scorer in a Game 5 rout of the Celtics and heading to the NBA Finals for a seventh straight year, LeBron James began his press conference Thursday night talking about his friend, Isaiah Thomas.

The superstar came up to Thomas after the game on the court and gave him an embrace. After the game, he explained why.

“It’s the first time I’ve seen him since he didn’t return for the second half in Game 2,” James said of Thomas’ season-ending hip injury. “Throughout the series we didn’t get an opportunity to actually have that moment. I know I said a few things in the media about the situation he was going through, but I was happy to see him. Just give him a big hug from myself and my family.

“Just how tough and determined the guy is, and to be able to go through the situation he was going through on a day-to-day basis, still being focused and maintaining his focus for the team — family is everything, and basketball comes second after family, and to see him perform the way he was performing throughout the playoffs under the circumstances was a treat to watch. A lot more words were said, but that’s the gist of it.”

“They were playing basketball at such a high level,” Kyrie Irving added. “And honestly, we didn’t want IT to go down. But the way that guy has played, I mean, the way he was playing, he’s deserving of all the credit that he’s gotten.”

James and Irving were clearly impressed by how Thomas dealt with the death of his sister, Chyna, on the eve of the playoffs on April 15. Then, in Game 1 of the second round against Washington, he broke three front teeth in his mouth before seeing his season end with a hip injury sustained in Game 6 against the Wizards.

James was asked, given how far the Celtics made it this season and that they also own the No. 1 pick, if he thinks it’s likely he’ll see them again next season deep in the playoffs.

“I don’t know. That’s a question that none of us can answer in here. They have a great team right now,” James said. “IT is going to come back healthy. They have the No. 1 pick; we’ll see what they do with that. But I can’t answer that question and know if we’re going to play them in the Eastern Conference finals next year. I have no idea.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

There would be no magical comeback on this night. There would be no slow start from LeBron James or Kyrie Irving. There would be only complete domination from start to finish by the defending NBA champions and an end to the Celtics upstart playoff run.