Good news for C's: Thomas avoids suspension

Good news for C's: Thomas avoids suspension

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Celtics got a bit of good news on Saturday with the NBA deciding to not suspend Isaiah Thomas for his first quarter run-in with Atlanta’s Dennis Schroder in Boston’s 111-103 Game 3 win on Friday night.

“It was the right call,” said Thomas, who had a career-high 42 points in the victory. “I’m really focused on Game 4, but I’m glad I wasn’t suspended.”

The Hawks lead the series, 2-1. Game 4 is Sunday at TD Garden.

Even after seeing the replay, Thomas said he remained confident that he would not face any significant disciplinary action from the league that would cost him court time.

After reviewing the play, the NBA announced that he would be assessed a flagrant-one penalty for the incident.

“I knew what I did,” said Thomas who added that he had not spoken with any league officials regarding the incident. “A slower version would like I looked at him and tried to hit him. If I tried to hit somebody I would have hit them.”

Thomas said he got the news that he would not be suspended from Danny Ainge, the Celtics' president of basketball operations. 

Replays showed Thomas connecting with Schroder’s head while running up the court. It wasn’t clear if the league would view the contact Thomas made with Schroder as him throwing a punch which would have likely landed him a one-game suspension.

Instead, the league will assess Thomas a flagrant-one penalty for the incident, which came moments before each player was hit with a technical foul after Schroder fouled Thomas.

After the play, Thomas had to be restrained by teammate Jared Sullinger.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens wasn’t overly concerned about the incident, either.

“I’m just preparing for whatever you need to prepare for, for the next day,” Stevens said. “I didn’t know exactly what direction would be taken. Obviously, they made their decision and we’re happy he’s available tomorrow. There’s no doubt about that.”

Schroeder, who had 20 points off the bench for the Hawks in Game 3, was trying to put the incident behind him.

But prior to the announcement that Thomas would not be suspended, it was quite apparent that it was still weighing heavily on his mind.

“I just try to focus on the game tomorrow,” Schroeder said. “I felt bad last night, Tweeted stuff and thought about it. I tried to get over it, and try to win tomorrow.

Schroeder deleted his tweet regarding the incident shortly after posting it, adding that the decision to get rid of it was his.

“I still feel disrespected by what he did,” Schroeder said. “I’m still trying to win the game tomorrow and focus on that.”

Gordon Hayward rips back a morning workout while repping his Butler Bulldogs

File Photo

Gordon Hayward rips back a morning workout while repping his Butler Bulldogs

There hasn't been all positive news surrounding Gordon Hayward as of late.

The Celtics have been shooting down rumors of Hayward returning this season. Recent news has detailed a minor setback in his recovery.

But it's always good to see the C's superstar up early crushing a workout in the weightroom.

We might not see him back in 2018, but his dedication during recovery is something to admire.


Celtics look to continue rolling on the road

AP Photo

Celtics look to continue rolling on the road

It seems all season we’ve talked about the Boston Celtics overcoming adversity, whether it be a bad injury to a key player or a blown assignment leading to a loss.

Nowhere is this more apparent than their play on the road this season which ranks among the best in the NBA.

The Celtics will look to continue on their road warrior-like ways tonight at New Orleans, a team that’s fighting for playoff position in the tighter-than-usual Western Conference.

In recent years, the terrain has been rough for teams from the East venturing into Western Conference territory.

For this year’s Celtics?

Not so much.

Boston comes into tonight’s game with a 17-7 record against Western Conference teams, tops among all teams in the East.

And while Boston has eight road games left this season, they are on pace to finish with one of the best road records in franchise history.

Currently 24-9 away from the TD Garden (tops in the East, third overall in the NBA), that’s a winning percentage of .727 which is the fourth-highest in franchise history.

Here are five under-the-radar story lines to keep an eye on when the Boston Celtics take on the New Orleans Pelicans tonight.


It’s a given that Al Horford will spend time defending Anthony Davis tonight. And while Davis will likely have a strong night scoring the ball, you can count on Horford making it extremely tough on him. When the two teams met on Jan. 16, Davis was 8-for-19 shooting for 16 points in 52 possessions when defended by Horford. For the game, Davis had 45 points on 16-for-34 shooting.


We’ve seen “Playoff" Rondo and “National TV" Rondo deliver some impressive performances in the past. What will we see from “Well-Rested” Rondo? The Pelicans gave the ex-Celtic the night off on Saturday as to not play him in back-to-back games. Of the two games, it made sense to sit him against the Rockets and have him ready to roll against a Boston Celtics team that will not have its full complement of players available.


Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry had some choice words about the officiating in New Orleans’ 107-101 loss to Houston on Saturday that he clearly felt cost his team a better chance at winning. The only cost in play now is how big will the check be that he’ll pay the league for his comments about the officiating. His issue was that Anthony Davis doesn’t get enough calls based on the physical abuse he takes per game. Davis ranks fourth in the NBA in free throw attempts (7.8) per game, but only had four attempts against the Rockets. It’ll be worth watching whether the Pelicans, 16th in the league in free throw attempts (21.4) per game, will get to the line significantly more or less than their season average.


One of the keys to Boston’s improved play since returning to the floor since the all-star break, has been their ability to begin games with strong play. Boston has outscored their opponent in the first quarter each of the last eight games, and 10 of 11. In addition, Boston has been ahead at the half in each of their 10 games since the all-star break, which comes on the heels of trailing at the half in the seven games prior to the break.


Jayson Tatum has been one of the most impactful rookies in the NBA this season which will likely land him a spot on the NBA’s all-rookie first or second team. One of the strengths of Tatum has been his durability, evident by him being one of just two first-year players to appear in each of his team’s games played this season. He is joined by Memphis’ Dillon Brooks.