Isaiah Thomas was only traded to the Celtics last Thursday, but he has made a huge impact since arriving. He helped keep the C’s in a close battle with the Lakers before being ejected on a questionable call, and then was the difference maker down the stretch in a big win over the Suns — the team that traded Thomas away.

Wednesday, before the Celtics squared off against the Knicks, Thomas spoke to the media at the TD Garden for the first time since the trade. So what was the first thing on his mind while arriving at the Garden after playing in Phoenix?

“It’s cold in here. It’s cold everywhere in Boston, I came to realize,” Thomas said with a grin.

As for some advice from his teammates on playing in Boston, the 5-foot-9 guard had a bit more to offer.

“Shavlik [Randolph] was saying it’s going to be different from everywhere you’ve played in your NBA career,” he said. “I’m excited about it. I’ve played here as a visitor so I know a little bit about the crowd and how energetic they are and how supportive they are. So I’m excited for it.”

Excited was the best word to describe the demeanor of the new Celtic.

“Oh, I don’t know … I’m just excited,” he said again when asked what he thought his reception would be upon getting in the game. “I don’t know. They might cheer for me … hopefully. I’m excited to get my home debut and hopefully we can get a win.”

As for Thomas’ role with the C’s, coach Brad Stevens says he expects to continue to bring Thomas off the bench for the foreseeable future. But Thomas sees himself as a player that can adapt.

“I can fit in with anybody,” Thomas said. “You give me a ball and a basketball hoop, that’s where I’m comfortable at — and you can probably say the same thing about all these guys in this locker room. They’ve made the transition easy, the coaches have made the transition easy, everybody has. So it’s easy to fit in when guys accept you.”

As for coming off the bench specifically? Thomas kept it short and sweet.

“Whatever [Stevens] needs me to do.”

Follow Julian Edlow on Twitter @julianedlow

Blog Author: 
Julian Edlow

On Sunday the Lakers were able to edge the Celtics in overtime, earning just their 14th win of the season. After scoring 25 points in the victory, Jeremy Lin was being interviewed before teammates Nick Young, Jordan Hill and Carlos Boozer€”€” crashed in and began celebrating excitedly.

Kobe Bryant, who has been out with injury, didn’t see the footage until Jimmy Kimmel showed it to him on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” (skip to 1:30 mark in video above). When he saw it, Bryant sat in his chair glaring, but without saying a word.

And Bryant wasn’t the only one to react this way. Lakers coach Byron Scott said he was “angry” and “very disappointed” in his players’ behavior.

“Kobe’s reaction was pretty much my reaction when I was watching it,” Scott said to ESPN’s Baxter Holmes after Tuesday’s practice. “I was just shaking my head like, ‘I can’t believe this.’ ”

He also addressed the incident with his players and told them he was disappointed, but he didn’t discipline any of them as he believes “the matter is resolved” after just talking to them.

“That’s not us as Lakers,” Scott said. “That’s not how we act. It showed a lack of professionalism.”

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen

After dropping a tough game to the Lakers in overtime on Sunday, the Celtics were able to let some of that frustration out against the team that traded them Isaiah Thomas just four days ago.

After dropping a tough game to the Lakers in overtime on Sunday, the Celtics were able to let some of that frustration out against the team that traded them Isaiah Thomas just four days ago.

In a blowout turned thriller, it was Thomas who had the most frustration to vent after being traded by the Suns and then being ejected from his first game as a Celtic. He did just that, leading the C’s (21-33) over the Suns (29-28) 115-110. Thomas had a late 4-point play followed by an acrobatic finish at the rim that essentially sealed a Boston win after Phoenix had cut the deficit to just a single point.

Avery Bradley led the way for the Celtics with 22 points (14 in the first quarter) while Thomas had his second 21 point game off the bench in as many games for the Celtics. Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight were at the head of the charge for the Suns, scoring 21 and 20 points respectively.

For a complete box score, click here.


In a pick-and-roll league, having a pick-and-roll player like Thomas is crucial. The Celtics now have an offensive threat; a player that draws double teams because he can come off of a pick and make a quick decision to pass, shoot or drive to the rim. At 5-foot-9 he’s small in stature, but his value to the Celtics going forward is enormous. Not to overreact to someone who figures to be just a piece of Boston’s future success, but if Thomas’ skill set is so obvious in just a couple of games with a depleted squad, just wait until he’s not the focal point of the opposing defense. You can see why Danny Ainge has been chasing Thomas these past couple years. He was an absolute game changer down the stretch of the only game we’ve had the pleasure of watching him finish in green. Aside from his 21 points and seven assists, Thomas led his team by a wide margin in plus/minus, finishing as a +21 in his 27 minutes of play.


In’s recent Celtics roundtable I wrote that Bradley was the one guy that needed to improve his play. Maybe he’s been reading Green Street during his down time on the road trip? AB has been fantastic of late. He came out and set the tone early and then had a huge steal and 3-pointer late to help seal the victory. And he did it all while hounding the athletic backcourt of Bledsoe and Knight — finishing with six steals to go with his 23 points.


With Kelly Olynyk still recovering from an ankle injury and Jared Sullinger now out for the rest of the season, size is tough to come by on the Celtics’ active roster. Brandon Bass and Tyler Zeller both started in the front court, playing 30 and 36 minutes respectively, but those were the only two big men that played. Shavlik Randolph and Jonas Jerebko both were DNP’s, which meant a lot of small ball. Jae Crowder (12 points, seven rebounds, four assists) played a lot of power forward during his 29 minutes on the floor, as did Gerald Wallace who logged 15 minutes.


Remember when the Celtics had eclipsed 100 points by the end of the third quarter in an opening night win over the Nets? Well, that’s the only other time this season the C’s had scored 67 points in the first half — until they matched that number on Monday. They did so by shooting the lights out from downtown. The Green shot 10-for-17 from beyond the arc in the first half in Phoenix (and that number includes two deep heaves from Thomas at the end of each quarter — both misses). Bass also dominated the interior leading all first half scorers with 15.


If you’ve been following the Celtics this season then you saw this one coming. After building a lead of as many as 20 points in the early third quarter, the C’s found themselves leading by just one late in the fourth. This time, however, their newcomer was able to bail them out and closeout the win.






Blog Author: 
Julian Edlow

On Hollywood’s biggest night, both the Celtics and Lakers turned in an Oscar-worthy performance. The performance of the Referees on the other hand deserved a Razzie.

The Boston Celtics (20-33) lost to the Los Angeles Lakers (14-41) 118-111 in overtime tonight at the Staples Center (Box Score here).  In a game that featured 58 called fouls, the Celtics were unable to stop Jeremy Lin, who led all scorers with 25 points including 4 in overtime.

The entire game appeared to unravel midway through the fourth quarter, when Isaiah Thomas was surprisingly ejected. After being called for a dubious offensive foul, Thomas slammed the ball to the floor, earning his first technical, then rolled the ball to the refs, earning him a second tech and an ejection.

The Celtics only scored 4 points in the final frame, although they likely should not have even been in that position. Avery Bradley hit a game tying three to send the game to overtime after a series of dubious calls seemed to hand the game to the Lakers, completing an improbable 9-point comeback in the final 1:17 of regulation.

Jae Crowder led the Celtics with 22 points, while Thomas and Bradley had 21 and 20 points respectively. With the loss, the Celtics fell two games behind the Brooklyn Nets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Best Dressed – Isaiah Thomas

Making his Celtics’ debut, Isaiah Thomas dazzled in a green adidas jersey and matching headband. Despite his dearth of height, the 5’9 guard displayed great athleticism, playing very aggressive defense while consistently attacking the rim. Before his early departure, Thomas scored 21 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, and dished out 3 assists in just over 25 minutes.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Lakers Bench

Led by Nick Young, Wesley Johnson, and Jeremy Lin, the Lakers Bench scored 88 of the Lakers 118 points. Given the performance of their performance, it makes you wonder why they began the game on the bench. But who am I to question the methods of a 14-41 coach.

Best Director/Actor – Brad Stevens

Without Jared Sullinger for the rest of the season, Coach Stevens is going to have to get mighty creative with his rotations. Tonight he did not shy away from playing the very entertaining three-guard line-up of Thomas, Bradley, and Smart. Although the may not be sustainable, the short Also, for a brief stretch in the second quarter, OG Gerald Wallace played the Center position. Robot Stevens also displayed some excellent human emotion after this terrible foul call on Jae Crowder.

After Thomas’ ejection, even more emotion from Stevens
Best Original Score – Marcus Smart and Gerald Wallace

Blog Author: 
Sam Packard



Celtics forward Jared Sullinger will miss the remainder of the regular season with a left metatarsal stress fracture, according to a press release from the team on Sunday.



Celtics forward Jared Sullinger will miss the remainder of the regular season with a left metatarsal stress fracture, according to a press release from the team on Sunday.

The release did not rule out Sullinger — the C’s top rebounder and second-leading scorer — for the playoffs, but his absence is obviously a major blow to their chances of earning the Eastern Conference’s eighth seed.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

Playing shorthanded without Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk, the Celtics gave a strong effort, but ultimately fell to the Kings, 109-101 on the road Friday night in the C’s first game following the All-Star break (click here for the compl

Playing shorthanded without Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk, the Celtics gave a strong effort, but ultimately fell to the Kings, 109-101 on the road Friday night in the C’s first game following the All-Star break (click here for the complete box score).

The Celtics were in the game the entire way, even leading 16-2 to start the game, but then ended up by trailing by five at the half. The Kings couldn’t pull away in the second half, but a lot of that had to do with the Kings turning the ball over 24 times, which kept the Celtics in it all game long.

Avery Bradley led the C’s with 28 points. Also having a solid game despite the loss was Tyler Zeller, who finished with 22 points filling in for the Celtics’ lack of size.

DeMarcus Cousins led the way for the Kings with a game-high 31 points.

Newcomer Isaiah Thomas was not with the team, but will be Sunday night. It’s unclear whether or not he will play. It was George Karl‘s first game as coach of the Kings.

The Celtics will continue their West Coast swing by taking on the Lakers Sunday night.

Blog Author: 

With the Celtics starting the second half of their season Friday night in Sacramento, the Green Street bloggers, Julian Edlow @julianedlow, Ben Rohrbach @brohrbach and Sam Packard @SPacShakur answer some key questions to preview the rest of the season.


The Celtics acquired Isaiah Thomas on Thursday. (Getty Images)

The acquisition of Isaiah Thomas on Thursday could be a sign that the Celtics are gearing up for a run at the playoffs. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Edlow: “As of Thursday morning the short answer was yes, in the lowly Eastern Conference the Celtics have a chance. Then mayhem broke loose at the trade deadline. Isaiah Thomas is a nice add for the C’s with his skill set and contract for the long term. But factoring in Miami adding Goran Dragic, Detriot adding Reggie Jackson, and news that Jared Sullinger is going to be sidelined with a stress reaction in his left foot, things have changed. It’s going to be another lottery season.”

Rohrbach: “I’ve been bouncing back and forth on this one, just as the Celtics front office likely has in recent weeks, but I’m coming around on the idea of making a playoff push. Danny Ainge was more of a buyer than a seller at the deadline, and Brad Stevens will continue working with whatever pieces are at his disposal to win enough games that their odds of receiving a top-three pick in the lottery would be miniscule. The confidence that Stevens — and whichever players remain next season and beyond — would gain in knowing how his system works is just as valuable as the difference between the No. 12 and 17 picks.

“As for whether the C’s can make the playoffs, after writing them off two weeks ago, I’m on board, so long as Jared Sullinger’s toe injury doesn’t keep him out too long. Their recent string of four wins in five games — including a stunning upset of the first-place Hawks — combined with the mess that has become of the Nets and the injury to Hornets point guard Kemba Walker leaves the C’s and Pistons with the best chance of finishing eighth behind the Heat. The Celtics have a lighter schedule and two fewer losses than the Pacers and somewhat control their own destiny with the most head-to-head meetings against the five aforementioned teams.”

Packard: “There are already 10 teams with worse records than the Celtics, and with the addition of Isaiah Thomas the roster is too talented to lose the requisite number of games for a top-five pick. Tanking is not a realistic option, so why not try something new and fun like winning as many games as possible?

“The Heat locked up the seventh seed by adding Dragic, but I do think the Celtics have a puncher’s chance at the eight. Their fate rests entirely on the health of Sullinger, who has been the team’s best player in the first half of the season. If he is out for an extended period of time, the Celtics will not have enough muscle on the front line to beat good teams late in games. Also, their biggest competition for the final playoff spot in the east, the Pistons, just got better by adding Reggie Jackson to replace the injured Brandon Jennings.”


Edlow:Avery Bradley is the easy answer. He is in the first year of a contract that is due to pay him $32 million over four seasons and Boston isn’t seeing near the production it should be for the price it paid. For comparison, the newly acquired Thomas just signed a cheaper contract (four years for $28 million), however, Thomas’ 19.7 player efficiency rating nearly doubles Bradley’s (10.8).”

Rohrbach: “When motivated, Jared Sullinger is undoubtedly the best player on the Celtics, but he’s not always motivated, as evidenced by his two recent benchings and the fact he’s never really gotten himself into proper shape. Yet he outplayed Paul Millsap in the C’s recent victory against the Hawks. While his conditioning may not make great strides over the final two months, particularly with the toe injury keeping him sidelined for the foreseeable future, he can begin his improvement by stepping inside the 3-point line, where he owns one of the league’s worst percentages among players who attempt three per game, and planting his considerable backside in the post, where he’s shooting close to 60 percent and grabbing 10 percent of available offensive rebounds.”

Packard: “Kelly Olynyk. This is probably an unfair answer, because Olynyk has done a very good job coming off the bench; but with Sullinger on the sidelines for the foreseeable future, Olynyk is going to get meaningful minutes. He needs to improve drastically on defense, where he has been a liability. On offense, Olynyk should continue to be aggressive by attacking the basket and taking the open 3 when its available.”


Edlow: “No doubt the answer is James Young. At just 19 years old, Young is one of the Celtics’ most intriguing prospects, but he has spent the season out of the spotlight while alternating between riding the bench in Boston and playing big minutes in the D-League. With the All-Star break behind us, now is the time to give the silky smooth lefty some consistent minutes. If he can improve his defense, he has the potential to be a big-time offensive weapon.”

Rohrbach: “If the Celtics aren’t developing their first-round picks, then what are they really doing? James Young has played fewer minutes all season than Marcus Smart has in each of the past three months. In Young’s limited sample size, the C’s have been 7.1 points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor than without him while their defense has remained consistent, according to Basketball Reference’s on/off statistics. In the four games he has played more than 15 minutes, Young has averaged roughly 16 points, four rebounds, three assists and a trio of 3-pointers per 36 minutes. That’s encouraging.”

Packard: “If you want to develop talent, the obvious answer is 19-year old James Young. If you want to win as many games as possible, I think Jae Crowder should get serious minutes. Crowder is a high-energy player who consistently creates turnovers on defense. While he struggled as a starter, I think he will be an important rotation player moving forward.”


Edlow: “Marcus Smart is the most intriguing storyline this season, which speaks to the rebuild still being far from a finished product. Smart has lived up to his reputation as a defensive stopper, but he has learned to improve his jump shot (considered his biggest weakness) in an incredibly short amount of time. The rookie still has a lot to learn — whether he plays point guard or off the ball — but so far has shown the ability to rise to the challenge and learn quickly. His fast learning and willingness to step into any role the team needs him to should make Smart a big piece of Boston’s future, so get used to watching him play.”

Rohrbach: “Smart’s ankle issues disrupted his development, but his recent defensive performances against All-Star playmakers Jeff Teague (4-12 FG) and James Harden (4-21 FG) coupled with a steadily improving jumper (40.7 3P% in January) are signs of a budding force — even if his traditional statistics (6.8 points, 3.5 assists, 2.9 rebounds per game) don’t support that assessment. There aren’t too many reasons to be excited about the current state of the Celtics roster, but Smart’s potential as an All-Defensive talent is one of them, and his chemistry with newly acquired shoot-first point guard Isaiah Thomas is another.”

Packard: “How will Isaiah Thomas fit in with the young core? With Thomas under contract for the next three seasons, he will presumably play a considerable amount of time next to Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley. Will this three-guard combination work or will Bradley be moved in the offseason?”


Edlow: “Yes … he’s a human — and a very smart one at that.”

Rohrbach: “He’s no Doc Rivers, that’s for sure, but Ainge found precisely what he was looking for in Stevens — a young coach with the patience to see a rebuild through while committing himself 24/7 to developing young talent and studying basketball from every angle. If that means boring pre- and postgame interviews, then so be it. Either that, or Stevens is really a robot that Mike Zarren will unveil at the next MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.”

Packard: “There is no evidence of one. I cannot imagine Stevens going to the movies, listening to music or laughing at a non-basketball-related joke. Even his light-hearted interviews with Abby Chin are all about basketball. Maybe I don’t understand people from the Midwest, but there is little doubt in my mind that Stevens is a robot.”


Edlow: “Diehard Celtics fans are some of the best fans in the NBA. You guys reading this know you are going to follow along through thick and thin as long as the rebuild takes. But this is Boston, so casual fans are a bit different.

“The Patriots just won the Super Bowl. The Red Sox won the 2013 World Series. The Bruins won the 2011 Stanley Cup … the Celtics are last in line. It speaks to how truly amazing Boston’s success has been that the 2008 Celtics are the last team in the four major sports to win a title for the city. But getting back to the question, this team is going to have to grow into a contender if it wants the casual fan to begin watching consistently.”

Rohrbach: “Barring the right ping-pong ball popping up or a first-round upset — one outcome more unlikely than the next — the Celtics should continue to experience a drop in television ratings and ticket sales until they can add a big-name free agent or complete a blockbuster trade or both — whether it’s this summer, the next or years down the road. Casual fans don’t tune in for developing talent and a well-schemed brand of basketball.”

Packard: “I have no idea, because winning or the hope of winning doesn’t seem to impact fan interest. The Celtics are closer to a championship than the Bruins, yet the Celtics haven’t been mentioned on the airways in months and instead we are stuck talking about Julien, Chara, Chiarelli and cap hell. The NBA is by far the second-most entertaining professional sport after football. There are probably 12 teams that have a legitimate chance at winning the title right now. There is an exciting, young, developing team that plays hard every night, but no one is paying attention, and it’s mind-boggling.”

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