Celtics

Good news for C's: Thomas avoids suspension

Good news for C's: Thomas avoids suspension

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Celtics got a bit of good news on Saturday with the NBA deciding to not suspend Isaiah Thomas for his first quarter run-in with Atlanta’s Dennis Schroder in Boston’s 111-103 Game 3 win on Friday night.

“It was the right call,” said Thomas, who had a career-high 42 points in the victory. “I’m really focused on Game 4, but I’m glad I wasn’t suspended.”

The Hawks lead the series, 2-1. Game 4 is Sunday at TD Garden.

Even after seeing the replay, Thomas said he remained confident that he would not face any significant disciplinary action from the league that would cost him court time.

After reviewing the play, the NBA announced that he would be assessed a flagrant-one penalty for the incident.

“I knew what I did,” said Thomas who added that he had not spoken with any league officials regarding the incident. “A slower version would like I looked at him and tried to hit him. If I tried to hit somebody I would have hit them.”

Thomas said he got the news that he would not be suspended from Danny Ainge, the Celtics' president of basketball operations. 

Replays showed Thomas connecting with Schroder’s head while running up the court. It wasn’t clear if the league would view the contact Thomas made with Schroder as him throwing a punch which would have likely landed him a one-game suspension.

Instead, the league will assess Thomas a flagrant-one penalty for the incident, which came moments before each player was hit with a technical foul after Schroder fouled Thomas.

After the play, Thomas had to be restrained by teammate Jared Sullinger.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens wasn’t overly concerned about the incident, either.

“I’m just preparing for whatever you need to prepare for, for the next day,” Stevens said. “I didn’t know exactly what direction would be taken. Obviously, they made their decision and we’re happy he’s available tomorrow. There’s no doubt about that.”

Schroeder, who had 20 points off the bench for the Hawks in Game 3, was trying to put the incident behind him.

But prior to the announcement that Thomas would not be suspended, it was quite apparent that it was still weighing heavily on his mind.

“I just try to focus on the game tomorrow,” Schroeder said. “I felt bad last night, Tweeted stuff and thought about it. I tried to get over it, and try to win tomorrow.

Schroeder deleted his tweet regarding the incident shortly after posting it, adding that the decision to get rid of it was his.

“I still feel disrespected by what he did,” Schroeder said. “I’m still trying to win the game tomorrow and focus on that.”

NBA Power Rankings: Trade winds are starting to pick up

NBA Power Rankings: Trade winds are starting to pick up

Though we often think about NBA trade rumors closer towards the February trade deadline, there a handful of teams that might be open to moving players they signed this past summer, moves that can be executed after December 15. 

Teams look to strike for a variety of reasons, whether it’s to add a talent that they think can take to another stratosphere in terms of their play, to clear salary cap space going forward, or to add what may be the missing piece for a run at the Larry O’Brien Trophy. 

Much of the talk surrounding the Boston Celtics and what they need to do to get better revolves around the center position. Multiple league sources have indicated the Celtics are open to the idea if a team wants to talk, but they are not aggressively looking to made a trade … yet. 

“You just never really know with Danny,” a league executive told NBC Sports Boston. “A ‘no’ on a deal today, could become a ‘hey, let’s do it’ tomorrow depending on if circumstances play out that make doing a deal a logical, sensible move to make."

And as deals get talked about and eventually completed, it also will impact where teams stack up in our weekly power rankings.

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Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-76ers, which tips off Thursday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Tommy have the call at 8 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

Marcus Smart out, Al Horford questionable for Celtics-76ers showdown

Marcus Smart out, Al Horford questionable for Celtics-76ers showdown

The Boston Celtics will be without one of their most important players Thursday night when they host the rival Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden.

Smart, who's dealing with a left eye infection, was officially ruled out by the C's early Thursday afternoon. The veteran guard has missed the last two games, including Wednesday night's road loss to the Indiana Pacers.

Second-year center Robert Williams' absence also will be felt. The 76ers have a big frontcourt with plenty of size and length, headlined by star center Joel Embiid and power forward Al Horford. The Celtics don't have a ton of depth at center, and with Williams out, expect Enes Kanter and Daniel Theis to play the majority of the minutes against Embiid.

Speaking of Horford, he's questionable to play in his first game back in Boston since he left the Celtics to sign with the 76ers in July as a free agent.

Thursday's game is the second meeting of the season between these rivals. The Sixers beat the Celtics in Philadelphia on opening night. Boston is 10-0 at home.

Jaylen Brown says Horford's return 'should be celebrated'>>>

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