Isaiah Thomas just didn’t look like Isaiah Thomas for long stretches of play during Boston’s 118-107 loss to Atlanta.
He tallied just 16 points on 6-for-19 shooting, with many of those shots being drives to the basket for lay-ups that – no disrespect to the Hawks defense – he should have been able to finish.
While Thomas chalked it up to being just one of those nights when his shot wasn’t falling, the soreness he was experiencing in his left (shooting) wrist may have been a bigger issue than he wanted to let on. Thomas told reporters after the game that he took a hard spill on it in Boston’s 124-109 win over Milwaukee on Friday.
“It swelled on me a little bit,” Thomas said. “I hit it again (against the Hawks). It’s alright. I’ve been through those problems. I just gotta ice it.”
The pain in his wrist paled in comparison to the hurt he was feeling after losing Saturday to the Hawks.
Thomas knows all too well how every game, win or lose, could be the one that determines whether they begin their postseason journey at the TD Garden with home court advantage, or on the road against Atlanta, Miami or Charlotte.
“It hurt me, just because of the position we’re in,” Thomas said. “We needed this win. In the fourth quarter, we just couldn’t make shots. It was tough for us. It was a tough game for myself. I’m very frustrated with it. It hurt.”
But all is not lost for the Celtics. Losing to the Hawks means the Celtics no longer have total control over their postseason landing spot. But the goal of having home court in the first round of the playoffs is very much alive and well.
If they win their remaining two games, that doesn’t necessarily get them the No. 3 spot (they will need the Hawks to lose both of their remaining games). But it would most likely result in them securing the No. 4 seed and home court advantage in the first round.
That reality doesn’t take away from the sting of losing what players felt was a game they should have won.
“We know that we needed this win,” said Boston’s Marcus Smart who led the Celtics with 19 points off the bench. “We had it. We let it slip between our fingers.”