Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
But listening to Thomas afterwards, he was about as excited about joining Bird in the record books as the best player in a game is when given a participation trophy afterwards.
“Maybe if we would have won, it would have been pretty cool,” Thomas told reporters following the loss Monday night. “I’m just about winning. The numbers speak for itself.”
“I actually told him that this was possible last year when he got traded to Boston,” Crawford said. “Like, ‘Everything you do is exactly what they need. They have all the pieces in place. And you just do what you do, lead.’ Isaiah’s a winner. He’ll do whatever it takes to win. So I knew that would be contagious, and they already had things in place. And they allowed him to be him. They don’t try to change him. He’s a scorer, he’s a playmaker, he’s a scrapper. He does those things and he’s doing them at a high, high level.”
Brian Scalabrine recently said that if Isaiah Thomas was 6-foot-5 he’d be the best player in the NBA. Maybe so. But even at 5-foot-9, Thomas is playing some amazing ball this season.
It’s becoming extremely difficult for the skeptics to argue that IT isn’t currently one of the top 25 players in the league. This run of leading the team in scoring in all 13 games this month, with 20 or more points in each, is just the latest example of what he’s capable of delivering.
But even more noticeable lately is the hyper-intensity Isaiah is bringing every night. It’s evident in how he will take an inbounds pass off an opponent’s make and jet coast-to-coast in four seconds before the defense even turns around. How he’ll bust his ass to make a chase-down rejection to compensate for a turnover. And (green-tinted glasses firmly in place here) even how he’s gotten technicals in two straight games because he deserves the all-star calls and, dammit, he’s gonna make sure the refs know it.
Maybe it’s time we stop dwelling on the 5’ 9” thing.
Related: Globe – Jamal Crawford shares uncommon bond with Isaiah Thomas
On Page 2: Crowder Comeback?
Crowder is close to returning from a high right ankle sprain, but he’s not there quite yet. He missed [Monday] night’s game against the Clippers, and when the Celts regroup at practice [Wednesday] in Portland, he will hit the floor hard.
This is the practice that determines whether he plays Thursday night in Portland or Friday against Golden State.
“Jaesus” not played since leaving the March 11 game versus Houston, a game the Celtics went on to lose. Counting that Rockets result, the Celts have lost five of their last nine and have dropped from third to a tie for fifth in the East.
If you need more proof that the Cs struggle without Crowder: With him on the court this season, Boston’s offensive rating is 106.1 points per 100 possessions and its defensive rating is 100.8. Without Crowder, the numbers are 100.3 on offense also 100.3 on defense.
For the Celtics to have a chance at a winning record on this road trip, Crowder needs to return against the Blazers. Keep your fingers crossed for a good practice result.
And, finally: That’s Doc’s story and he’s sticking to it
“I would have been into it if I kept the job, obviously, but I just think it worked out the way it was going to work out,” said Rivers before the Clippers took on the Celtics [Monday] night. “It’s a great situation for them, but I think it would have worked either way, honestly. But Brad comes in with great energy, with youth. Having had to rebuild twice, this would have been my third, and that’s hard to do. People don’t appreciate that. I mean, talk to Brad. He’ll tell you how hard it is — and in nine years he won’t want to do it again either.”
Doc is always selling, isn’t he? We loved him when he coached the Celtics, and rightfully so: he did a masterful job managing the newly constructed 2007-08 squad that ran the table and hung a banner. He would’ve probably had another ring if KG hadn’t missed the 2009 playoffs, or if the 2010 team had more depth.
But Doc has been gone for three years now and he’s still making excuses like he didn’t force that outcome. Dude, you signed a five-year contract and bailed after two. You knew the Celts were staring down another rebuild, and if you didn’t want to deal with it then you shouldn’t have inked that long contract.
It’s old news now, and all’s well in Boston with Brad’s emergence, so let’s move on. If we could just not rehash the situation every time the Cs play the Clippers, that would be great.
The Rest of the Links:
Bonus link, just because we enjoy watching the train wreck that is the Lakers…