The day after the tragic death of his sister, Chyna Thomas, Isaiah puts up big numbers
It would have been hard to criticize Isaiah Thomas if he had chosen to sit out Game 1 of the playoffs against the Chicago Bulls, but that was not an option for the 5′ 9″ guard for the Celtics. Instead, he chose to honor his sister by putting up 33 points, 6 assists, and 6 rebounds in a valiant effort against the Bulls Sunday night.
The eight seeded Bulls were a massive underdog against the top ranked Celtics but found a way to overcome the powerhouse. Unexpected games from Bobby Portis and Robin Lopez ended up being the key factors in their victory. Portis ended with 19 points and 9 rebounds while shooting 75% from beyond the arc and 80% from the field, while Lopez finished with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds. The duo dominated the paint coming up with 8 offensive rebounds, which ultimately lead to the 23 second chance points by the Bulls.
Rajon Rondo also helped out creating second chance points with his 5 offensive rebounds. He finished with 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists in his first playoff return to Boston after helping them win a NBA Title in the ’07-’08 season.
Nothing seemed to go right for the celtics on Sunday night. Besides strong games from Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford and Avery Bradley, the rest of the team looked without energy and no one seemed to make any plays besides Smart’s 3 three-pointers and Crowder’s 8 rebounds. Horford finished with 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists with a 3 +/-, Bradley finished with 14 points and a 6 +/- and Thomas with a 12 +/-.
The Celtics have some serious changes to make coming into Game 2 Tuesday night at home. Brad Stevens might want to think about giving rookie Jaylen Brown more minutes as he only had 11 and didn’t miss either of his 2 field goals. He also might want to think about giving Terry Rozier some minutes as he didn’t log 1 in Game 1. Both young players bring energy to the court but lack experience. It will be interesting to see how Stevens changes his gameplan as the Celtics head into battle once again Tuesday night.