WALTHAM, Mass. – The last two games have not exactly been shining moments for Isaiah Thomas.
But when asked about them on Tuesday he was quick to interject before the question had been fully formed, “I played 20 minutes last game; that doesn’t count.”
It was clear in Thomas’ tone that he did not take too kindly to playing just 20 minutes in Boston’s 114-100 home loss to Charlotte, a game that knocked the Celtics out of contention for the No. 3 seed with Celtics’ postseason position being anywhere between No. 4-6.
There was no mistaking Thomas was disappointed in the team’s overall showing against the Hornets, and noticeably bothered by his lack of playing time in the second half.
When asked if the benching upset him, Thomas said, “It did. I guess the way I was playing, that’s why he did that. Gotta move on from it.”
Boston will get that opportunity as they host the Miami Heat in the regular season finale on Wednesday. Depending on what happens with the Heat tonight at Detroit, Wednesday’s game could very well be a game in which the winner will get the fourth seed and with it, home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
For Boston to be successful on Wednesday, they will need Thomas to perform better than we’ve seen the last two games which ended in Celtics losses.
In losses to Atlanta and Charlotte, Thomas’ increased number of turnovers really stood out. Thomas has averaged five turnovers in the last two games which nearly doubles his season average which is 2.7.
Thomas said he and Stevens did discuss his lack of playing time on Monday. And while Thomas said Stevens didn’t give him a specific reason, Thomas knows all too well what was happening and not happening in the game that made Stevens want to chart a new course that for that game, did not include Thomas in the fourth quarter.
“That group wasn’t doing anything for the most part and [Stevens] wanted to see something new,” Thomas said. “Just knowing him and rotations . . . I’m trying to look forward to tomorrow and playing better individually and as a team.”
Thomas holds no ill will towards Stevens or anger. But he acknowledges spending most of Monday’s game on the sideline has made him even more focused going into Wednesday night’s game against Miami.
“It makes me come out the next game on fire, with a different mindset,” Thomas said. “It makes you re-think things, lock back in and play better.”