The injury bug continues to bite Celtics starters.

Starting point guard and offensive catalyst Isaiah Thomas was ruled out for Wednesday night’s tilt against the Magic in Orlando with a pulled groin, with the team taking it a step further and sent the 27-year-old back to Boston Tuesday night to get begin treatment on the injury.

Marcus Smart may only be 22, but he’s starting to develop around reputation around the NBA — and it’s not just for his sound defensive abilities.

Smart has become renowned across the league for his seemingly incessant flopping, and the NBA is trying to put a stop to it, giving him a warning for violating the league’s anti-flopping rule.

Dec 5, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) is called for a flagrant foul on Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) during the fourth quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) was legitimately decked here during the fourth quarter at Toyota Center but was reprimanded by the NBA for a flop at the end of the game. (Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports)

Marcus Smart may only be 22, but he’s starting to develop around reputation around the NBA — and it’s not just for his sound defensive abilities.

Smart has become renowned across the league for his seemingly incessant flopping, and the NBA is trying to put a stop to it, giving him a warning for violating the league’s anti-flopping rule.

The flop came on the final play of Monday night’s loss to the Rockets. As Al Horford drove to the basket and missed a would-be game-winning layup, Smart flailed onto the baseline from under the basket as if he had been forcefully shoved by either Trevor Ariza or James Harden.

The move drew the ire of many, and for good reason.

The rebound off the missed finger roll was grabbed by 6-foot-5 James Harden. Smart, standing at 6-foot-4, could have conceivably grabbed a put-back had he not flopped.

Smart has a history with not just flopping, but untimely flopping as well — most notably this one in the 2016 postseason. 

There was one against the Jazz in February 2016. Mere days earlier, he laid out a hard flop that Carmelo Anthony’s turnaround jumper hit the top of the backboard.

It didn’t take long for this to become a trend for Smart, either. This one was from Smart’s third game of his NBA career on November 4, 2014. It initially looks like a nasty shot, but the melodrama becomes more apparent out with a slow-motion replay.

Smart won’t receive any punishment at this point, but could possibly serve as a wakeup call to be more cognizant of an aspect of the game the league is attempting to crack down on.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas

The injury bug continues to bite Celtics starters.

Starting point guard and offensive catalyst Isaiah Thomas was ruled out for Wednesday night’s tilt against the Magic in Orlando with a pulled groin, with the team taking it a step further and sent the 27-year-old back to Boston Tuesday night to get begin treatment on the injury.

According to coach Brad Stevens, Thomas was “very sore” on Tuesday. He sat out practice on Tuesday, but did get up and do a little shooting afterwards.

Stevens told reporters after Wednesday morning’s shootaround, “Like Isaiah is, he had convinced himself he wanted to play, and he really wants to play. Obviously, it’s an injury you’re wary of because it can hamper you … if it continues to exist.”

The injury happened in the second quarter of Monday’s one-point loss to the Rockets. 

The point guard has been an essential part of the Celtics’ offense, averaging 26 points per game — good for second in the east behind the Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan. The additional benefit of Thomas that is now lost is his late-game ability. For a team that tends to struggle in the fourth quarter like the Celtics have periodically this season, Thomas has bailed the Celtics out multiple times with their backs against the wall.

There is no definite timetable as to when Thomas will be back, but given his status from Wednesday and the Celtics set to return home anyways for Friday’s game against the Raptors, it made sense to give him a head start in treatment.

“You put him on the plane so you can get him back to get treatment around the clock in our training room, see our doctors, and everything else,” Stevens said.

Thomas has been the epitome of durability during his time with the Celtics. Up until Wednesday, he had appeared in 103 consecutive regular season games.

Stevens did not provide a definite answer when asked who would run the point Wednesday night, but did indicate it was likely that Marcus Smart would be the one to fill in for Thomas in the starting lineup. Per reports from Orlando, Smart was in a green starter’s jersey at shootaround.

As a result, expect Terry Rozier to see a bump in minutes with Thomas’ absence. Demetrius Jackson was also recalled from Maine on Tuesday as well, giving the Celtics some ore depth at the point to work with.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of 'The Dale and Holley Show' talk about last night's disappointing finish against the Rockets and they talk about their love for DeMarcus Cousins.

The Celtics were handed a gift Monday night in Houston, but they treated it like an ugly sweater on Christmas morning — something they’ll look back on only with disdain.

Avery Bradley defends James Harden during Monday's game. (Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports)

Avery Bradley defends James Harden during Monday’s game. (Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports)

The Celtics were handed a gift Monday night in Houston, but they treated it like an ugly sweater on Christmas morning — something they’ll look back on only with disdain.

Trailing by three and without the ball with 16 seconds left, the C’s were put in position to win after Rockets star James Harden was called for an offensive foul — and a flagrant 1 to boot — but Boston could not capitalize.

After Marcus Smart hit two free throws to get the C’s within a point, Isaiah Thomas missed a driving layup, although the C’s retained possession when Harden knocked it out of bounds. On the ensuing inbounds, Al Horford caught the ball at the 3-point line and found an open lane to the basket but missed a layup with one second remaining, allowing Houston to escape with a 107-106 decision.

Harden led all scorers with 37 points on 8-of-14 field goals (3-of-5 treys) and 18-of-18 free throws. He also had eight rebounds, eight assists and 10 turnovers.

Horford led the Celtics with 21 points and nine assists. Thomas scored 20 points. Bradley had 16 points and 10 rebounds. With 46 seconds left and the C’s trailing by five, he lined up at the arc and drilled a big shot to end a 13-2 Houston run, but the officials ruled his toe was on the line, and it held up on review despite protestations from the Celtics, who saw the replay on the arena scoreboard.

The Celtics owned the third quarter, turning a 12-point deficit into a six-point advantage heading into the final period.

The Rockets had a 58-48 lead at the half — and extended the lead to 11 on a technical foul free throw before the second half began (Isaiah Thomas the culprit for barking at the officials before heading to the locker room). The margin was 12 before the C’s embarked on a  game-changing 19-2 run.

The Celtics next visit the Magic on Wednesday night.

JBL_CMYK_NoHarmanNoRBallWEEI is how you listen to Celtics coverage. JBL cutting-edge wireless headphones and speakers are how you feel like you’re there. As the official Sound of the Celtics, Isaiah Thomas and the NBA, JBL is Made for the Biggest Stage.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

Former Celtics guard Rajon Rondo is already making friends in Chicago.

The mercurial point guard, whose talent is often dwarfed by his behavior, was suspended for one game by the Bulls for conduct detrimental to the team after getting in a “heated argument” with an assistant coach, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo

Former Celtics guard Rajon Rondo is already making friends in Chicago.

The mercurial point guard, whose talent is often dwarfed by his behavior, was suspended for one game by the Bulls for conduct detrimental to the team after getting in a “heated argument” with an assistant coach, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski added that Rondo apologized and accepted responsibility for his actions.

Rondo’s outburst came after Saturday’s 25-point loss to the Mavericks, in which Rondo submitted his worst game of the season (2 points, 2 assists, 5 turnovers). Returning to Dallas may have brought out the worst in him, because the Mavericks memorably benched Rondo after repeated disputes with head coach Rick Carlisle during the 2015 postseason.

Rondo was suspended by the NBA last year for directing a homophobic slur at referee Bill Kennedy.

One year after leading the league in assists with Sacramento, Rondo is averaging 8.2 points and 7.2 assists per game with the Bulls, who are 11-8.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

It didn’t look good in the beginning, but the Celtics ultimately beat the Sixers 107-106 on Saturday for their second win in as many nights.