Celtics

Celtics

READING, Mass. – For most of Isaiah Thomas’ time in Boston, there really hasn’t been much competition in terms of his place atop the team’s pecking order of importance.
 
Indeed, Thomas has been THAT dude!
 
Well THAT dude has some company with four-time All-Star Al Horford a Celtic now after spending his first nine seasons in the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks.
 
It will certainly be a change; a change that Thomas says he’s more than ready to embrace.
 
“It’s only going to help. That’s what we need, other guys that can put the ball in the basket, other guys that can do a variety of different things and he’s one of those guys,” said Thomas, speaking to CSNNE.com at the Isaiah Thomas Basketball Pro Camp at Reading Memorial High School. “The attention will go off me a little bit with having Al Horford on our team. I’m just ready for the opportunity to get to know him and get going and try to get our games to gel with each other.”
 
Thomas acknowledged he’s hopeful the learning curve for him and Horford to get on the same page will be a short one.
 
“I know it’s a process and it’s going to take a little bit [of time], but we’re both competitors. We want to do what’s best for this team,” Thomas said.
 
The Celtics signed Horford to a four-year, $113 million contract this summer. The only other free agent more highly regarded was Kevin Durant, who considered the Celtics as a possible destination after eventually deciding to leave Oklahoma City to sign with Golden State.
 
Thomas sees Horford as one of a handful of changes Danny Ainge and the Celtics have made since last season that should benefit both himself and the team.
 
By drafting Jaylen Brown with the No. 3 pick and bringing former Celtic Gerald Green back, Boston has upgraded its level of athleticism going into this season. Both of those players attack the rim, which should take some of the pressure off Thomas to be counted on so heavily to contribute in those particular areas.
 
“Shooting and guys that can attack, that’s what we needed,” Thomas said. “We got a new addition in Gerald Green, a familiar face around here. He can shoot the ball, lights out. And he’s athletic so he can go in and dunk on you. I know a lot of guys have been working hard this summer to go in and prove that they’re ready. I’m excited about that opportunity.”
 
So are Celtics fans about this season, one in which the Celtics will be expected to finish among the top three or four teams in the East.
 
“I don’t want to put a hat on it, but the NBA knows we’re going to be pretty good,” Thomas said. “Teams know, everywhere I go people are excited about the Boston Celtics. And we’re going to just try and take steps forward. I know Brad [Stevens] and the coaching staff are going to do everything they can to put us in position to be successful. We gotta bring it come October.”