Thomas continues to use doubters as motivation


Thomas continues to use doubters as motivation

You have to believe there aren’t too many items left on Isaiah Thomas’ bucket list at this point.

If tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers goes as expected, Thomas will join some elusive company among Celtics’ all-time greats.

The 5-foot-9 Thomas has led the Celtics in scoring in each of the last 12 games. If he does so again tonight, he will join Larry Bird as the franchise’s leader in consecutive games leading the team in scoring.

It has been that kind of year for Thomas, who has set career highs and achieves numerous milestones this season.

And while this is certainly another one of significance to add to the growing list, by no means is he satisfied with any of the the accomplishments that have come his way during this breakout season.

When asked about what motivates him these days, Thomas referred to an all-too-common theme that has been a driving force to his success for most of his basketball playing career.

“People doubt, people saying what I can’t be and people not giving me my props for what I’m able to do,” he told reporters.

This month, Thomas has averaged 26.3 points. For the season, his career-high 22.2 points per game average is the highest for a Celtic since Paul Pierce (now with the Clippers) averaged 25.0 points during the 1996-1997 season.

In addition, Thomas is one of just six players in the NBA averaging at least 22 points and six assists, with the others being Houston’s James Harden, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, Cleveland’s LeBron James and Golden State’s Stephen Curry.

Thomas says he even uses his all-star status as a motivation going forward.

“Yeah, no doubt,” he said. “People say I’m going to be a one-time all-star now. You just find little things here and there to use as motivation.”

And make that bucket list just a little bit lighter in the process.


NBCSB Breakfast pod: How Jayson Tatum compares to Paul Pierce

NBC Sports Illustration

NBCSB Breakfast pod: How Jayson Tatum compares to Paul Pierce

1:25 - With half of the Celtics roster on the shelf, we’ve been able to see just how great a scorer Jayson Tatum can be. A. Sherrod Blakely, Mike Girardi and Trenni Kusnierek discuss how Tatum compares to Celtics legend, Paul Pierce.

5:35 - The NFL Competition Committee is giving it their best shot at modifying the ‘catch rule’ and Tom Curran, Kyle Draper and Hardy try to wrap their heads around the proposed changes.

11:02 - The Bruins clinched a playoff berth despite losing to the St. Louis Blues in overtime. Joe Haggerty joins Tom Giles to break down the game, which included another goal by Ryan Donato and a questionable call on a high hit on David Krejci.

Report: Kyrie Irving to undergo knee exam Thursday


Report: Kyrie Irving to undergo knee exam Thursday

The second opinion on Kyrie Irving’s sore left knee will be done on Thursday, according to the Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett.

Irving, who has missed the last four games, is expected to decide between having a surgical procedure performed to help alleviate some of the soreness, or continue to manage it with rest.


During the 2015 NBA Finals, Irving suffered a fractured left kneecap injury which was the beginning of Irving’s left knee issues.

While Irving has had soreness of some form during various stretches of play this season, Celtics coach Brad Stevens has seen him making progress recently.

“That knee is still sore,” Stevens said. “He’s worked really hard to manage it throughout the entire season. He’s had some pretty good days recently. I’m encouraged by the big picture.”

But Stevens has made it clear that he supports Irving getting a second opinion, adding that Irving’s absence is due to the knee being too sore for him to play at a level he’s accustomed to.

“He’s out because of knee soreness, not because we’re choosing to rest him,” Stevens said. “That’s the bottom line. Again, we want him to feel 110 percent. He wants to feel 110 percent. Obviously, we’re fortunate we created a cushion early on in the year with playoffs and everything else. This is not one of those situations where we’re choosing to rest someone; it’s because he has a sore knee.”