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.
Marcus Smart and center Tyler Zeller were both admitted to New England Baptist Hospital on Sunday as the Boston Celtics attempt to combat a batch of illnesses that have spread throughout the organization.
“Marcus, he has the bug that has been going around — the [gastrointestinal] bug. And then Tyler’s had an ear infection and some sinusitis for a while,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Monday. “[Zeller] was really feeling under the weather [Sunday], more so than even in the past couple of weeks, and he’s been battling for a while now. Hopefully those guys get discharged soon and are able to join us ASAP.”
Both Smart and Zeller remained hospitalized as the Celtics practiced Monday. Avery Bradley, who missed Friday’s game because of illness, was back at practice but acknowledged that he still wasn’t feeling 100 percent yet.
Jae Crowder said he nearly sat out Boston’s game on Christmas Day because of the stomach bug, and Celtics staffers and coaches haven’t been immune to it either. Assistant coach Jay Larranaga was out ill the past two games.
“We’ve had staff members, players — everybody’s been dealing with it. It’s one of those things when you hang out together all the time,” said Stevens. “Jay Larranaga missed the last two games and nobody asked. I told him that, too. He had [the stomach bug], too. It’s just been going around.”
There’s only one thing worse than getting the stomach bug. It’s anticipating your turn as it makes its way through your family and/or teammates.
Hell, as I write this blog post I’m bracing for an explosive reaction with every burp, fart or gurgle.
The Celtics will need Smart as they host the hot Jazz tonight at the Garden. Utah has won 4 straight and brings a top 5 defense.
My money is on Smart to play, even if he has to wear a diaper.
Related – Celtics.com: Practice report | Globe – Smart, Zeller hospitalized
On Page 2, IT wants Player of the Month honors.
Thomas averaged 30.3 points in December. The Celtics were 9-3 with him and 1-3 when he was out with a strained right groin, though the latter three losses came against Toronto, Oklahoma City and San Antonio.
His 52-point game in Friday’s win against Miami wasn’t enough to net him a second straight Player of the Week honor. That went to Washington’s John Wall, while Houston’s James Harden won in the West.
Asked yesterday if he should get consideration of Player of the Month, Thomas smiled broadly in his joking-but-serious manner.
“Hell yeah,” he said. “I better. I mean, we had a good month as a team, as well, so I know that takes care of individual awards. But yeah, I definitely should get that award. For sure.”
I absolutely love Isaiah’s candor. Whether he’s calling himself a killer, taking light-hearted shots at James Harden or Snapchatting a Brinks truck in front of his house, the guy is refreshingly honest.
Three words for Celtics management: Pay the man.
Related – ESPN: Green says IT’s 50 beat Pierce’s 50 | CSNNE – Why Cs should reward Thomas with a max deal