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.
It was a heavyweight fight between welterweights. Back and forth. Crossover moves to lose a defender followed by jump shots of silk — or drives into traffic without regard for life, limb or, in Thomas’ case, dental work.
At several points during the shootout, one could easily picture Larry Bird and Dominique Wilkins sitting in a bar, turning to each other and saying in unison, “Damn.”
That Thomas landed the better shots in the later rounds does nothing to diminish the incredible efforts of Wall. But as he willed the Celtics to a 129-119 overtime victory and a 2-0 series lead on Washington, maybe Isaiah had a bit of an unfair advantage as he went for 20 points in the fourth period and nine more in OT, the latter on 4-for-4 shooting.
“Today is my sister’s birthday,” he said. “She would have been 23 today, so the least I can do is go out there and play for her.”
Isaiah Thomas was on a storybook run before the playoffs even started. A 5-9 guard, picked last in the draft, playing for his 3rd NBA team was suddenly taking the league by storm and leading the most storied franchise in NBA history back to relevancy.
But that wasn’t enough.
Some real life adversity was added to the mix. The sudden and crushing death of his younger sister.
A painful injury that required about 10 hours of dental surgery over two days.
It doesn’t matter what life throws at Thomas – he keeps chugging along.
Last night’s performance was simply unreal. I had the pleasure of being in the building and can say without doubt, this was the greatest basketball game I’ve attended.
I’m not sure how much further Thomas can push the Celtics, but I think we’ve reached the point where dismissing this teams’ chances is flat out silly.
How’s this for a comp?
There are a ton of stories about Thomas and the Celtics. I recommend you read them all. Watch the highlights repeatedly. Soak up this moment.
Related – Globe: Caught in world of hurt, Thomas rises to occasion | Thomas played through the pain | Thomas adds chapter to growing legend | ESPN: Thomas never ceases to amaze | Mass Live: Legends are made in the playoffs | CSNNE – Thomas honors sister with performance for ages
On Page 2, Terry Rozier is playing out of his mind.
Rozier spent time out of the rotation this season, then made some mistakes when he was in the lineup. But he has been one of the team’s most impressive postseason players. The second-year guard has rebounded, played strong defense, and hit some key shots. After looking tentative at times during the regular season, Rozier has played fearlessly in the playoffs, and that 3-pointer was his biggest shot as a Celtic.
“I think the moment that gave us a chance is when we were down 110-104 and hit two threes and the second one being Terry’s in the corner,” Stevens said. “Those were huge plays, gave us a chance, and Isaiah and that starting group brought it home. The defense was really good in overtime.”
Rozier finished with 12 points — hitting 2 of 5 of his 3-point shots — to go along with 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and a plus-25 in his 25 minutes.
The defensive energy is one thing. The rebounding is another.
But now Rozier is going to make big shots?
The balls on this kid…
Terry Rozier has played 128 minutes in the playoffs and has not committed a turnover. He’s a +94 in the playoffs – that leads the league.
And lastly, I really enjoyed this video: