Isaiah Thomas' minutes are being cut after Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone decided to remove the veteran guard from the rotation.
Here's what Malone told reporters Tuesday night.
Michael Malone said he had a conversation with Isaiah Thomas ahead of the decision to remove him from the rotation, one he says he’ll keep private. Said it was a hard decision but one he has to make in his position. Said rotation will stay this way for the time being.
This could mean Thomas won't get much playing time when the Nuggets come to TD Garden for a matchup with the Celtics next Monday. It's expected to be Thomas' first game action in Boston since he was dealt to the Cleveland Cavaliers as part of the Kyrie Irving trade in August of 2017. Thomas was injured when the Cavs played against the C's in Boston last season.
Of course, it wouldn't be surprising if Malone gave Thomas some time on the court Monday, knowing how special the moment will be for him and Celtics fans. But when the game is on the line, Jamal Murray and/or Monte Morris likely will be on the court.
Thomas signed a one-year contract with the Nuggets before the season. He missed most of the season recovering from injury and made his Denver debut Feb. 13.
The 30-year-old guard is averaging 8.6 points on 37.3 percent shooting (27.3 percent from 3-point range) in 15.3 minutes per game for the Nuggets. Morris, a second-year guard and 2017 second-round draft pick, has outplayed Thomas and earned his spot ahead of the veteran on the Denver depth chart.
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Kemba Walker (28 points) and Gordon Hayward (19 points) carried the load offensively in what ended up being one of the lowest-scoring games for the Celtics in their past few simulations, which just goes to show how on fire they've been. They shined on the defensive end, tallying eight total steals and eight blocks.
With the game pretty much in hand, the C's second unit played for the entire fourth quarter. Rookie Romeo Langford was solid in his 12 minutes, contributing nine points, a steal, and an assist.
This was a disastrous offensive performance by the Pacers as they were unable to get any semblance of momentum throughout the contest. Malcolm Brogdon struggled from the field but was able to get nine of his 17 points from the free-throw line. Domontas Sabonis was the only real bright spot as he shot 7-for-10 from the field for 16 points while bringing down nine rebounds.
All you need to do is look at the field goal percentages and 3-point percentages (ZERO for Indiana!) to figure out what happened here. Boston dominated in pretty much every other major category too, despite possessing the ball for nine minutes less than the Pacers.
FINAL SCORE: Celtics 101, Pacers 77
Four games remain in the NBA 2K Celtics' regular-season schedule as they ride a 12-game win streak into their matchup vs. the Orlando Magic. Can they extend the streak to 13? Check back Friday to find out.
With no Boston Celtics basketball on the docket for a while due to the coronavirus pandemic, there's no better time to reminisce on some of the greatest moves in the team's history.
NBC Sports Boston's longtime Celtics play-by-play voice Mike Gorman joined the latest Celtics Talk Podcast to discuss the best trades the organization has made. Of course, the ones for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen that formed the "Big Three" immediately come to mind. But to Gorman, the best deal in franchise history is a no-brainer.
Gorman's No. 1 Celtics trade ever is the one that brought the great Bill Russell to Boston.
When Red [Auerbach] got Russell -- I mean, when you pull off a trade where you get three Hall of Famers in the first round of the draft, 'cause K.C. Jones was on the tail end of that and nobody talks about him. Tommy [Heinsohn] was the rookie of the year. And you get Bill Russell, who goes on to win 11 championships and is MVP five times.
That's got to be the best trade ever for Ed Macauley who was a good player but certainly not a great player. And Cliff Hagan who was a good player but not a great player. Neither one of those guys was going to do anything anywhere near what Bill Russell did to the Celtics. I think the Russell trade has to be the best trade maybe in the history of sports.
The runner-up? That would be the deal 40 years ago that landed Hall of Famers Robert Parish and Kevin McHale.
Again, it was a situation where Red traded and ended up with two Hall of Famers and gave up Joe Barry Carroll whose whole career was a massive disappointment. You would have thought that no one would deal with Red again [after the Russell trade] ... But yeah, to get Kevin McHale and Robert Parish in a draft, and both of them end up going to the Hall of Fame, and you gave up a guy again who had a marginal career ...
Gorman also discussed what he's been up to in quarantine, as well as what the Celtics' ceiling is if/when the season resumes.