Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas, Rajon Rondo ejected for scuffle in Lakers-Pelicans game

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Isaiah Thomas, Rajon Rondo ejected for scuffle in Lakers-Pelicans game

Remember last month when Rajon Rondo mocked Isaiah Thomas' tribute video controversy when he said the Celtics celebrate players who won championships, not conference titles.

The two ex-Celtics point guards met on the court for the first time since then Wednesday. They didn't stay long after both were ejected following this scuffle late in the first quarter.

Here's the video via YouTube: 

Thomas told the Los Angeles Times' Tania Ganguli that Rondo brought up the video tribute controversy on the court before the scuffle and that maybe Rondo was upset that I.T's Celtics beat Rondo's Bulls in the playoffs last season: 


 

New-look Cavs come into Garden still getting to know each other

New-look Cavs come into Garden still getting to know each other

BOSTON – This isn’t how the Celtics envisioned their third go-around against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Instead of locking in on trends and specific matchups that worked in the past, the Celtics are back to the preparation drawing board, courtesy of the Cavs’ massive overhaul of their roster at the trade deadline heading into Sunday's matchup.

“All the film goes out of the window, I’ll tell you that,” said Kyrie Irving, the former Cavs star whose intimate knowledge of the Cleveland franchise doesn’t do him much good now. “I think everyone is at a high anticipation of what they’ll look like.”

For those who missed all the Cavs-related comings and goings at the trade deadline – and there were a lot of them - here’s a rundown of what transpired on Thursday, a deadline day absolutely dominated by Cleveland.

Former Celtic Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and Cleveland’s 2018 first-round pick were traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr., whose father was one of the all-time greats for the Cavaliers.

Cleveland was also part of a three-team trade that landed them George Hill from Sacramento and Rodney Hood from Utah, while sending ex-Celtic Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose to the Jazz and Iman Shumpert to Sacramento.

The Cavs also traded Dwyane Wade back to Miami for a heavily protected second-round pick that Cleveland immediately sent to Sacramento.

While it remains to be seen how the new-look Cavs will work together, Cleveland has already accomplished one of its primary goals. which was to become younger, more athletic and more versatile.

"It's not about what the other guys didn't bring or what these guys bring," Cleveland’s LeBron James told reporters following Cleveland’s win over Atlanta, a game in which Cleveland only had nine players in uniform due to all the physicals among the traded players not being completed. "We're all professionals and we were happy with the guys that we had, and we're going to [be] happy with the guys that we have now. That's the way the league is. It's a business. There's no shade on anybody."

Boston didn’t make any moves at the trade deadline, but earlier they did pick up center Greg Monroe after he was bought out by Phoenix.

The 6-foot-11 veteran has played in two games for Boston, averaging 3.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in 15.5 minutes per game.

In Boston’s 97-91 loss to Indiana on Friday night, Monroe did not play (coach's decision) in the second half.

“I thought I could have gone with anybody in that group at the big spots,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. “But with the desire to really execute at a high level, I felt like we had to go with the guys that have been here. And then when we had to play small after our starting group, I felt like, because speed was an issue in the first half for our team.”

Cleveland may find itself grappling with a similar dilemma on a much larger scale today. While the new additions have had a couple days to familiarize themselves with the play calls and various sets, it’s not the same as actually doing it in a full practice.  

There’s another difference between the Celtics adding Monroe and the changes made by Cleveland.

Boston acquired Monroe to provide added depth to a frontcourt that only has one true center in Aron Baynes.

The deals made by Cleveland were done to bolster the Cavs’ starting unit (Hill is slated to start at point guard) as well as their bench, which only enhances the likelihood that with so many new faces, the Cavs won’t be quite as sharp as they will likely be later in the season once the newcomers get a few games under their belt.

Cavs GM Koby Altman knew he had to make some significant changes to the roster for the Cavs to best compete for another trip to the NBA Finals.

“Just like it’s been a tough year for everybody, we’re all disappointed in our production on the floor,” Altman said in a conference call. “From myself to T-Lue [coach Tyronn Lue] and the players, this is not sort of what we envisioned and to sort of see the players’ eyes light up with some of these deals, it was great to see some of the coaches’ eyes light up with some of these deals.”

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Thomas' world turned upside down in one short year

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Thomas' world turned upside down in one short year

WASHINGTON -- It was less than a year ago that Isaiah Thomas was the darling of the NBA, the undersized scoring machine who fought through the kind of emotional pain and adversity you wouldn’t wish upon your worst enemy. 
 
Then came the hip injury that would sideline him for the start of this season, followed by an unexpected trade to Cleveland that clearly left the ex-Celtic with a bitter taste in his mouth. 

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That was followed by a slow start with the Cavs upon his return, which led to some straight-no-chaser comments by Thomas about the team’s fight, which -- as you can imagine -- did not go over well with teammates, Cleveland fans or the media. 

And that brings us to Thomas once again being on the move. 
 
According to ESPN, Cleveland has traded the two-time All-Star along with Channing Frye, to the Los Angeles Lakers for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. The Cavs also threw in a protected 2018 first-round pick to seal the deal. 

Thomas would be the first of many players on the move from Cleveland, with the Cavs reportedly also trading away Dwyane Wade (to Miami) along with Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose (both to Utah).


 
There will be plenty of reports on what the Thomas deal means to the Cavs roster (they get younger) as well as the Lakers (more salary cap space in the summer by adding two expiring contracts).
 
But I’m most concerned about what this does for Thomas, a player that will always have a special place in the heart of Celtics fans for how he performed in his two-plus years in Boston. 
 
While it’s true that the whole video tribute thing rubbed some folks the wrong way around here, that doesn’t diminish what Thomas did for the organization when he was a Celtic. 
 
But history has little value in this day and age of the NBA. 

MORE ON THE TRADE DEADLINE

 
Thomas goes to Los Angeles just a few months away from hitting free agency, a time when it seemed a given that the 5-foot-9 guard was going to indeed get that Brinks truck that he talks about from time to time, to show up well stocked. 
 
About that . . . 
 
Thomas will get a bump in pay for sure, but it’s probably not going to be as substantial as he would want. 
 
In Cleveland, Thomas had a chance to re-assert himself as an elite scorer who could contribute significantly to winning games. 
 
But as the Cavs struggled before and after his return, Thomas’ impact on winning was brought into question. 

Some of his comments were taken as jabs against his teammates, the coaching staff and the organization as a whole which bothered many considering his numbers offensively weren't great and some of his defensive numbers ranked among the worst all-time. 
 
And now that he’s with the Lakers, who are more concerned with salary cap flexibility and youth development, Thomas will have a much harder time this offseason getting the kind of deal he feels his hard work and steady improvement warrant. 
 
Which is too bad, because the way he was able to play at the highest of levels dealing with the untimely death of his younger sister, made everyone around the league for a time Isaiah Thomas fans. 

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It had all the trappings of a feel-good, made-for-the-big-screen production. 
 
But looking at how quickly things went south in Cleveland, and how unpredictable things look on the horizon with the Lakers, it’s hard to imagine that this story is going to have a happy ending for Thomas. 
 

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