BOSTON – As players came and went, Isaiah Thomas sat in his locker stall, head covered with a towel. Assistant coach Jerome Allen, hand on Thomas’ back, tried to console him.
Evan Turner soon came by with words of encouragement.
One by one, players came by to try and lift up the spirits of their best player, looking very much like a funeral procession.
In many ways it was a fitting image as the Atlanta Hawks put the final nail in the coffin of the Celtics’ season by handing Boston a 104-92 Game 6 loss.
And as Thomas took to the podium along with teammate Jae Crowder, there was no way to mask the pain he was feeling, knowing the Celtics’ season was over in part because of how Atlanta’s defense managed to limit his effectiveness in Games 5 and 6.
“Yes, it’s very emotional for me, just because we gave it our all,” said a blood-shot eyed Thomas. “We never put our head down, like I said this group of guys is something special. I mean I played, I gave it my all so that’s why it hurts that much more. I wish I could have done more, but it just happened to be like that. So it is tough on me, though.”
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Game 6.
He didn’t put up big numbers in Game 6 (15 points, four rebounds), but he was solid as ever and was really Atlanta’s most reliable player at both ends of the floor through the entire series.
He was not a major focal point in Game 6, but came up with a bunch of big buckets when they needed to make a play. He finished with 17 points and eight rebounds.
He finishes the season as a starter for Boston, delivering the kind of play that will make him a player to watch next season. He finished with 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting which included him scoring the first five points for Boston.
He didn’t take a ton of shots but he made the most of his opportunities in addition to doing a solid job on the boards and defensively. Korver had 14 points on a perfect 4-for-4 shooting to go with nine rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots.
He had a double-double of 25 points and 10 assists. His 25 points was a game high, although it came on 9-for-24 shooting which included missing six of his seven 3-point attempts. He put up big numbers, but they weren’t high impact, difference-making points – something the Celtics desperately needed from him.
The Celtics really needed him to deliver a big-time scoring/playmaking kind of game in order to take some of the pressure off Thomas. Turner had just eight points (his first game in the series when he failed to score in double figures) and only had four assists. He didn’t have a bad game per se, but in an elimination-type game they needed more – much more – from Turner.
Game 6 was a microcosm of this entire playoff series for Sullinger who once again was a non-factor scoring the ball as well as rebounding. He finished with two points on 1-for-5 shooting along with grabbing just four rebounds.