The Celtics are being very cautious with the sore groin of Isaiah Thomas. 

Isaiah Thomas dives on the floor for a loose ball during Wednesday's win over the Nets. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

Isaiah Thomas has again been playing all-out this season for the Celtics. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

The Celtics are being very cautious with the sore groin of Isaiah Thomas. 

The star point guard will likely miss his second straight game with the injury suffered Monday night in Houston after receiving a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection on Wednesday. The 13-9 Celtics take on Atlantic Division-leading Toronto Friday night at TD Garden and stand just 1.5 games back of them for the No. 2 seed in the East. 

“It’s just day to day. He is a warrior. He loves to play,” Ainge said of Thomas. “He’ll be back faster than most players would be back after an injury. But at the same time we really have to be careful with Isaiah for the long haul and make sure that he doesn’t come back and re-injure it. So I’m not sure about the answer.

“I don’t know if he’ll play Friday. Probably not. We’ll just try to get him as much rest as we can and get him back on the court when he’s ready.”

Head coach Brad Stevens told reporters before Wednesday’s game that the team will be cautious with its All-Star point guard due to the nature of the injury. 

The Celtics didn’t need Thomas Wednesday night as they blew out Orlando, 117-87, outscoring the Magic, 68-37, in the second half. 

Thomas is again leading the Celtics in scoring this year, averaging 26 points and 6.2 assists in 21 games. Wednesday’s game was the first Thomas missed this season. 

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: 
Mike Petraglia

With Isaiah Thomas back in Boston receiving treatment on his strained groin, the question for the Celtics was who would replace the production of their leading scorer Wednesday night. The answer: everyone.

Al Horford drives on Evan Fournier during Wednesday's game. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Al Horford drives on Evan Fournier during Wednesday’s game. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

With Isaiah Thomas back in Boston receiving treatment on his strained groin, the question for the Celtics was who would replace the production of their leading scorer Wednesday night. The answer: everyone.

Seven Celtics scored in double figures (and Kelly Olynyk was one point short of being the eighth) as the C’s dominated the Magic in the second half en route to an impressive 117-87 victory.

Avery Bradley led the offensive onslaught with 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting and 6-of-7 free throws. Terry Rozier came off the bench to pour in 16 points, Jae Crowder had 15 points and 10 rebounds, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Amir Johnson each netted 13, and Al Horford amassed 10 points, eight assists and six boards (and was a plus-31).

And before you dismiss the Magic, consider that Orlando was coming off a road trip in which it won four out of five, including an eye-catching win over the Spurs.

The C’s outscored Orlando 68-37 in the second half. They opened the second half on a 10-2 run, playing fierce defense and unselfish offense. On one sequence Bradley hounded Evan Fournier and eventually blocked his runner out of bounds. The C’s continued to pour it on at both ends and pushed their newfound lead up to 18 points at 78-60 late in the period after a three-point play by Brown. At that point the C’s had hit 11 of their 13 shots in the period, and assists were credited on 10 of the 11 baskets.

The Celtics trailed by a point at the half, 50-49, despite shooting just 2-for-15 from behind the arc. They made up for that by hitting 16-of-27 from inside the arc. Meanwhile, Orlando hit 8-of-10 treys — led by D.J. Augustin’s 4-for-4 — but shot just 10-for-26 inside the arc.

Smart was given the start in Thomas’ place. He started inauspiciously, by getting faked out and fouling Augustin while the Magic guard was shooting a 3-pointer with a tenth of a second left on the shot clock during Orlando’s opening possession. He then swished a jumper as the shot clock was running down on Boston’s first foray over halfcourt.

Meanwhile, Johnson returned to the starting lineup after a four-minute stint off the bench in Monday’s loss to the Rockets.

Stud of the night: Avery Bradley

Bradley was the spark for the Celtics during their third-quarter run and throughout. He not only hit from outside, he got to the line — which has been a concern for this team — and hit 6-of-7.

Dud of the night: Serge Ibaka

Orlando’s big man came up small against the C’s, hitting just 3-of-10 shots and finishing at minus-22, worst on the night.

When the game was won: The third quarter

For the first 9 1/2 minutes of the period Boston was dominant on both ends of the floor, outscoring Orlando 29-10. The Magic managed to score 13 points in the final 2 1/2 minutes of the period, but it still goes down as a very impressive quarter for the C’s.

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

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.

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: 
WEEI

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.