Thomas on ankle sprain: 'I'll play no matter what'

Thomas on ankle sprain: 'I'll play no matter what'

With the Celtics trailing by 31 points in the fourth quarter, things couldn’t have gotten much worse for the Boston Celtics.

And then things got worse.

Isaiah Thomas, who was still in the game with under 10 minutes remaining, drove to the hoop for a layup and rolled his left ankle upon landing.

Though he was able to put pressure on it and finish the ensuing play down the other end, he would leave the game and head for the locker room at the next stoppage.

The word from the Celtics during the game was “mild” left ankle sprain.

Good news, all things considered.

“The only thing that I was told on that play in the fourth quarter he twisted his ankle,” Brad Stevens told reporters. “It’s a mild ankle sprain from what they can tell. So he’ll get treatment. He’ll get a film tomorrow, and go from there.”

The question everybody wants to know is this: Will he be able to play in Game 6?

Stevens said he wasn't qualified to answer.

Thomas, though, was confident in his answer.

"I'll play no matter what. I'm not going to sit out. I just tweaked it again," Thomas, who said he also tweaked it in the fourth quarter of Game 4, told reporters. "It hurt right when it happened, but I came back here and iced it. I'll be alright. For the most part the swelling is alright. I don't swell all that much. But hopefully it doesn't get any worse by tomorrow, which it probably will, but I'll just get treatment all day tomorrow and before the game on Thursday."

Stevens can expect people to question why Thomas, who struggled and had just five points at the time, was still in the game with the Celtics down 31 points. At that time, it was the largest deficit they’ve faced all season. They entered the first quarter down 27 points, so it wasn't as if things were looking good when the quarter began.

“You know what? With this team, I think it’s a very valid question, with this team I’ve seen just enough crazy stuff to think that we may be able to get back in it and give them a chance from 12 [minutes] to 9 or 8 to see if it can happen,” Stevens said. “He actually had a sub at the table when it happened. So I know that’s quite a task and quite a mountain to overcome but we’ve all seen this team do some crazy things when they’re down.”

The 27-point fourth-quarter deficit was certainly a mountain to overcome - and one that with the way the C's were playing never felt less climbable - but if the ankle sprain ends up bothering Thomas enough where he struggles in Game 6 like he did in Game 5, expect another mountain on the C's injury-riddled playoff path.

Against Magic, C's do what they're supposed to

Against Magic, C's do what they're supposed to

Beating one of the few teams already eliminated from the playoff race is in itself not that big a deal.

It’s called doing what you’re supposed to do.

But for these Celtics, their 92-83 victory over the Orlando Magic on Friday night was more than just another victory.

It was the latest installment in a season filled with teachable moments and lessons that can bolster in some fashion their chances at a deep playoff run.

While there’s no way they’re going to go far without their core guys Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown, getting guys to fill in for them and still manage to win, is important in this team’s overall development in both the present and future.

No one on the Celtics’ roster can score like Irving, the league’s 11th-ranked scorer at 24.4 points per game.

Still, getting his fill-ins Terry Rozier and Shane Larkin to go for 17 and 10 points certainly helps.

And Jaylen Brown’s ability to play both ends of the floor at a high level is huge, but rookie Abdel Nader has shown he too has some potential to be a solid two-way talent.

Smart’s defense sets him apart from others, but the Celtics collectively were able to make up for that with an impressive defensive rating of 83.1 against the Orlando.

And their collective efforts serve as yet another teachable moment for the Celtics.

Here are five takeaways from a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score might lead one to believe: 

There may not be another Celtic whose stock has risen more than Terry Rozier’s this season. He has become a reliable two-way talent off the bench whose capable of giving you starter-like production when needed. He had 17 points against the Magic along with seven rebounds and five assists.

With Marcus Smart (right thumb) out for the rest of the regular season, Terry Rozier in the starting lineup along with Marcus Morris, those are three really big chunks of Boston’s second unit no longer coming off the bench. The second unit players might have been different, but that didn’t affect the Celtics’ bench from impacting the game in a significant way. Against the Magic, they outscored Orlando’s backups, 39-28. 

He signed with the Boston Celtics at a time when a role for him was far from defined. His patience and Boston’s faith in him has paid for both as Larkin continues to be that utility player that Brad Stevens has leaned on at times. Larkin was solid off the bench, scoring 10 points.

This may be one of the closest Coach of the Year votes we have ever had in the NBA. Regardless how short the list may be, you can bet Brad Stevens will be on it. The way he has been positioning the Celtics to be among the last teams standing despite all the injuries they have endured this season, speaks to his ability to not just draw up X's and O’s but also his ability to develop players who when called upon to play, are more than ready for the challenge.

It’s fair to expect the Celtics are going to be short-handed for the rest of the season, which means those still around have to step their game up – Horford included.

For Horford, stepping up involves being more assertive as a scorer and not rely as much on his skills as a play-maker. We saw that from Horford on Friday, as he tallied a near double-double of 15 points and nine rebounds but more important, he took a game-high 18 shot attempts.


'Big Baby' busted with 126 grams of pot, $92K in cash

AP Photo

'Big Baby' busted with 126 grams of pot, $92K in cash

Former Celtics forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis was arrested last month in a hotel room in Aberdeen, Maryland, with more than 126 grams of marijuana and more than $92,000 in cash.

Davis, 32, who played on the Celtics 2008 championship team was last in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2015, was arrested Feb. 7 after the hotel owner at the Aberdeen Hampton Inn smelled marijuana coming from Davis' room, WMAR-TV in Baltimore reported.

“They recovered 126 grams of marijuana,” Aberdeen Police Lt. William Reiber told WMAR. “In addition to that, there was a briefcase that contained 92,164 dollars of U.S. currency along with a ledger that contained language which is consistent with someone involved in the sale and distribution of narcotics.”

Davis is charged with seven counts of drug possession and distribution.

Police said the strains of marijuana were from a Los Angeles wholesaler that court records show Davis told police he was in business with.

He told officers he was visiting family in Maryland. Davis' attorney told WMAR the former Celtic (2007-11) adamantly maintains his innocence and looks forward to his day in court next month to clear his name.