Thomas, who had a tooth knocked out by Wizards forward Otto Porter on an incidental play in the first game, needed dental surgery on three teeth Monday. He was not sure he would play in Game 2 and told coach Brad Stevens he was a likely no-go. Thomas had to return to the hospital because of the severity of the postsurgical swelling in his mouth. Worse, Thomas had to wear a mouthguard, and had trouble engaging in his favorite player-to-player dialog because of it.
“I tried, but it wouldn’t let me so I had to take it out,” Thomas said. “I like to talk trash, that’s just the game of basketball, but I had to get used to it. I was stuttering a few times in the first half, I was just — I had to learn how to take it out with my tongue.”
There were hard fouls, like when Al Horford was sent tumbling into the first row after Morris chucked him down in a chase for a rebound — Morris injured his ankle in Game 1 when he landed badly on Horford’s foot after a jump shot, though Morris declined to accuse Horford of trying to hurt him. After the game, though, Morris was vague about whether he was sending Horford a message.
While some teams were resting their stars down the stretch (Cleveland), the Celtics fought hard to earn the top seed in the East. Led by All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas, Boston boasts one of the most versatile lineups in the NBA.
Thomas averaged 28.9 points per game this season while hitting 46 percent of his shots. Quick off the dribble and dangerous from beyond the arc, Thomas has the talent and passion to lead this Celtics team deep into the postseason.
But let’s not forget the Bulls. Winners of seven of their last nine games to squeak into the playoffs, they boast a dangerous squad playing its best basketball. The Bulls have looked like a new team since inserting Rajon Rondo into the starting lineup, and Jimmy Butler averaged 23.9 points per game.