Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line.
Reached at his home in Tacoma, Wash., last night, Thomas’ father, James, said Isaiah still hadn’t made a decision about when to fly home.
“It’s a crucial time for our family right now,” James Thomas said.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens was one of the first visitors to his player’s home. According to a league source, Thomas was “in a state of shock.”
A team source, expressing remorse and that “it’s not just relevant” if Thomas plays or not, said he wouldn’t be surprised if the process goes on.
“We have not even gone there with Isaiah — we just have to leave him to his thoughts,” the team source said. “We probably won’t know anything until game time (tonight).”
Isaiah Thomas took part in the Celtics’ practice on Saturday afternoon in advance of Game 1 of their opening-round playoff series against the Bulls, and was not aware of the accident at the time. As of Saturday night, Thomas was planning to stay in Boston for the game on Sunday, the source close to the family said.
I’m going to reiterate what I’ve said on social media and in the prior post: Isaiah Thomas’ decision is for him and his family to make, and we respect whatever that decision ultimately is. If he chooses to play, we all will support him as best we can throughout this tough time.
If he plays, this is how we show and love and support. We stand in the Garden, we stand at home, and we give him an ovation like no other to let him know he has our support. If he decides to go home, then we give him the ovation when he gets back… whenever that is.
As expected there are a few thoughts being shared on Twitter.
Gobert suffered a bone bruise and hyperextension in last night’s game… which is what he’s referencing there.
So with this all being said, the next update on this situation will be on Isaiah’s final decision… which might not be until game time. He may go through warm-ups and then decide last minute not to play. That’s his choice.
My editorial decision moving forward is to shift to basketball, and write it as if Isaiah is playing. Please understand the caveat moving forward that all is written knowing Isaiah may decide otherwise. Also understand that by now shifting the focus to basketball, we’re in no way trying to be insensitive to Isaiah’s situation. Game one of the this playoff series will be played tonight at 6:30 pm. The guys are getting ready for it with this weighing on their hearts… and we are too.
Page 2: Play like underdogs to chase a championship
“I wake up every day feeling like an underdog,” said Crowder, a college teammate of Butler. “So it’s nothing new to me, nothing new to the guys in the locker room. I’m sure if you look at us before the season, you wouldn’t say we were the one seed going into the playoffs.
“I’ve been an underdog my whole career, a lot of guys in the locker room have been underdogs their whole career, so we have that chip on our shoulder still and that’s what it takes. We never should get relaxed. We never should get complacent. We always should play with that chip. It will help us in the long run.”
The Celtics might be the most scrutinized top seed ever in the playoffs. So let’s get one thing out of the way…
We know who the Celtics are. We know they only got the top seed because Cleveland basically ceded it to us. We knew that already. We knew that was possible before the season. So you can cool it already.
These Celtics will take their flaws into the playoffs, but they’ll also take with them the strengths that won them 53 games this season. Teams don’t get to 53 wins without being good. Only four teams had better records. That’s not bad.
But the media is like a grooming chimp picking through Boston’s body of work for every little gnat it can sink its teeth into.
Sure, they should get by Chicago but man it won’t be easy. They’re VULNERABLE!!
Looking around at some of the things being said, it’s pretty easy for the Celtics to play like an underdog. Sometimes it feels like we’re previewing the 4-5 matchup instead of the 1-8. But here we are.
There is some validity to the idea of playing like underdogs to win this series. The Celtics definitely have a tendency to relax when things are in hand, and they’re just not good enough to do that.
Of course, the Bulls do have a damn good player in Jimmy Butler. He’s good for at least one win for Chicago in this series. Wade might recapture some of his youth for stretches and “playoff Rondo” might resurface from time to time. The Celtics, though, have counter-punches for all of these things.
I feel like this might go six games… but I’m going to say Celtics in five.
Related links: Herald: Although the top seed, Green still love playing the underdog role
And Finally…. UPSETS!!
Milwaukee walked into Toronto and smacked the Raptors for a 14-point win in Game 1.
Kyle Lowry had a very bad game: 4 points on 2-11 fg. Meanwhile Utah stole game 1 from The Clippers.
The Jazz, though, lost Rudy Gobert to a hyperextended knee and bone bruise. It happened 20 seconds into the game and it’s unclear how much time he’ll miss.
The rest of the links:
Herald: Staff picks for first round vs. Bulls | Brown soaks up moment, prepares for future | When Isaiah goes into attack mode, it’s no small feat for opposing defenses to stop | Bulpett: 5 keys for Celtics to beat Bulls