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Isaiah Thomas on ankle injury: ‘I’ll play no matter what’ 04.26.16 at 11:27 pm ET
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Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas

With 10:14 remaining in a playoff game the Celtics trailed by 29 points, Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas landed awkwardly on his left ankle, suffering a mild ankle sprain.

“With this team, I’ve seen just enough crazy stuff to think that we might be able to get back in it and give them a chance from 12 [minutes] to nine or eight, just to see if it could happen,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens after the Game 5 loss. “He had a sub at the table when it happened, so I know that’s quite a task and quite a mountain to overcome, but we’ve all seen this team do some pretty crazy things when they’re down.”

Except, it was clear the Celtics were gassed from the second quarter on — Thomas in particular. The All-Star point guard was scoreless at the half and finished with a season-low seven points on 12 shots, not returning after the injury. We can debate whether Thomas should’ve been in the game, but what’s done is done entering Game 6.

Asked if Thomas would be ready for Game 6, Stevens added, “I’m not qualified to answer that question,” but with the season on the line in Boston on Thursday night, it’s hard to imagine Thomas won’t give it a go, even on a bum ankle. He told reporters he merely tweaked his ankle and would be playing Thursday, come hell or high water.

“I’m doing great, ready for Game 6,” he told the media. “Yeah, I’ll play no matter what. I’m not going to sit out. I just tweaked it. I had tweaked it in Game 4 as well, in the fourth quarter, so I just tweaked it again. It hurt right when it happened, but I came back here and iced it. I’ll be all right. For the most part, the swelling is all right. I don’t swell that much, but hopefully it doesn’t get any worse by tomorrow, which it probably will, but I’ll just get treatment all day tomorrow and before the game on Thursday.”

The question is how effective he’ll be. The C’s got a taste of what their offense may look like sans Thomas at full strength in Game 5, and the reviews came back with zero stars.

2016 Celtics Mock Draft Pick Power Rankings v5.0 04.19.16 at 10:42 am ET
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The Celtics own eight draft picks in June 2016 — only one of which is their own — and the unprotected selection from the Nets is legitimately one of the most fascinating storylines in the entire NBA this season. We’ll semi-regularly update the status of those selections, speculating when and who the Celtics will pick.

FIRST ROUND

3. Boston Celtics (from Brooklyn): Dragan Bender.

I mean, his name is Dragan Bender. He can Bend Dragans. Need we say more? OK, well, he’s 18 years, 7 feet tall, athletic and shot nearly 40 percent on two 3-point attempts per game. What’s not to like? Just the time he’ll take to develop.  

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Every Celtics playoff scenario entering regular-season finale 04.13.16 at 7:42 am ET
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The East's myriad playoff scenarios are enough to even give Brad Stevens a headache. (Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports)

The East’s myriad playoff scenarios are enough to even give Brad Stevens a headache. (Jeff Hanisch/USA Today Sports)

Welcome to the final day of the NBA regular season, where the Eastern Conference’s No. 3-6 seeds are still undecided, and the Celtics could face either the Heat, Hawks or Hornets in the first round.

If the Celtics successfully sweep the Heat this season with a win at home on Wednesday night — no guarantee, given two straight ugly losses to the Hawks and Hornets since Saturday — they will:

  • a) host Miami as No. 4 seed if Atlanta beats Washington and Charlotte beats Orlando.
  • b) host Charlotte as No. 4 seed if Atlanta beats Washington and Charlotte loses to Orlando.
  • c) visit Atlanta as No. 5 seed if Atlanta loses to Washington.

And if the Celtics drop to 9-10 in their final 19 games with a loss to the Heat on Wednesday night, dropping a third straight game to a potential playoff opponent with seeding on the line — not exactly a ringing endorsement of their chances in the playoffs, should that happen — they will:

  • a) visit Atlanta as No. 5 seed if Charlotte loses to Orlando.
  • b) visit Miami as No. 6 seed if Charlotte beats Orlando.

Confused enough? Me too. Welcome to the East behind Cleveland and Toronto. Just print this out, laminate it and keep it in your back pocket — like Jim Nantz and his burnt toast requirements:

The Celtics will be seeded …

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2016 Celtics Mock Draft Pick Power Rankings v4.0 03.29.16 at 10:55 am ET
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The-Wolf-of-Causeway

The Celtics own as many as eight draft picks in June 2016 — only one of which is their own — and the unprotected selection from the Nets is legitimately one of the most fascinating storylines in the entire NBA this season. We’ll semi-regularly update the status of those selections, speculating when and who the Celtics will pick.

FIRST ROUND

4. Boston Celtics (from Brooklyn): Buddy Hield.

The breakout star of the NCAA Tournament, Hield has played himself into consideration as a top-five pick. The 6-foot-4 Oklahoma shooting guard may be 22 years old — competing mostly against teens — but he’s capable of creating his own offense, scoring inside and out and everywhere in between. And he’s got big-game ability. Those skills meet two of the C’s most important needs this summer. 

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A Green Street tradition: Bill Walton’s St. Patrick’s Day revisited 03.17.16 at 8:58 am ET
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The NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year as a member of the 1985-86 Celtics that finished 67-15 during the regular season — and 41-1 at home in the Boston Garden — on their way to winning 15-of-18 playoff games and the franchise’s 16th NBA title, Bill Walton can wish you a St. Patrick’s Day far better than I can. So, without further ado, I give you Walton uncensored, about five or six Guinesses deep most likely (from his 2011 appearance on the Big Show five years ago):

“Go Green. Go Guinness. I’m popping one right now. Ten million pints poured every day around this great globe of ours — the globe, the most perfect orb, just like the basketball. The basketball by itself does nothing, but when you make it an extension of your mind the way that [Rajon] Rondo does, the way that Danny Ainge did and DJ [Dennis Johnson] and Larry [Bird] and Kevin [McHale] and Chief [Robert Parish] and Jerry [Sichting] and Rick [Carlisle] and Scotty [Wedman] and all the guys did — but when you’re able to make an extension of your mind, of what it is you’re doing in life, whether it’s drinking a Guinness responsibly, whether you’re bouncing that magic basketball for the Celtic Green, you can make a difference, and that’s what we’re calling everybody to do on St. Patrick’s Day, the start of the college tournament, the most perfect harmonic convergence ever. Be bold, stand tall, quit your job and chase your dreams. …

“I only drink Guinness, the holy water falling from the sky, delivering spiritual guidance. We’re blessed. We’re so blessed. We’re on record pace, and we’re having the time of our life. …

“When this morning started, and it started more than 24 hours ago, the call to action was to take the day off. Who wants to lead a watered down life? C’mon. Let’s get up and be bold. Forget just taking the day off, just quit your job. Make your dream your job, and that’s what I was able to do. My parents ask me to this very day, ‘So, Billy, did you ever get a job?’ I’m closer than ever to being able to say yes. It’s so special. The remarkable thing about Guinness in our world is that in the mother country, Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday. In Canada, St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday. Somewhere, we got lost along the path, along the golden road to unlimited devotion. … Read the rest of this entry »

Brad Stevens named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month 03.01.16 at 4:57 pm ET
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Celtics coach Brad Stevens is so hot right now. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Celtics coach Brad Stevens is so hot right now. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Brad Stevens probably doesn’t even want the award, but the NBA gave it to him anyway.

The Celtics coach earned Eastern Conference Coach of the Month honors after his team finished the month of February with a conference-best 9-3 record, including victories against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers. Stevens also won Eastern Conference Coach of the Month honors in April 2015.

Stevens edged Charlotte’s Steve Clifford and Toronto’s Dwane Casey. The C’s coach isn’t much for awards, so long as they’re not the Larry O’Brien Trophy, and he probably has little use for one that honors the best coach in the shortest month of the year — made shorter still by a weeklong All-Star break. But, hey, it’s recognition for the tremendous job he’s done with these Celtics (36-25), who enter March with the conference’s third-best record.

Ironically, the NBA honored Stevens on the same day he revealed in an interview with Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast that he was rejected by a Division III program when seeking a head coaching job in 2007.

“I actually applied for a Division III coaching job a week before (former Butler) coach (Todd) Lickliter left to go to Iowa, and I got a letter in the mail that said I wasn’t one of the finalists because I didn’t have my master’s degree,” said Stevens, who ultimately succeeded Lickliter as the head coach at Butler that year, “because I’d stopped going to school full-time, and they wanted people, obviously, with the ability to teach at the Division III level as well.”

For the record, Stevens’ Butler squad reached the NCAA championship game for the first time in his third season as head coach. This marks his third season as head coach of the Celtics. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

 

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Are the Celtics the 3rd team in a Kevin Love, Ryan Anderson trade? 02.17.16 at 9:30 pm ET
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The on-again, off-again Kevin Love discussion are apparently on again. Or not.

The Cavaliers have discussed a deal with the Pelicans that would bring Ryan Anderson back to Cleveland, according to The Vertical’s Marc J. Spears, and that potential trade could send Kevin Love packing to a third team, according to New York Daily News reporter Frank Isola.

Those reports have led to rampant speculation that the C’s could be that third team, as Danny Ainge has long lusted after Love and has the assets to live out his desires. As with the three-team deal involving Love’s Cavs, Carmelo Anthony’s Knicks and the Celtics, these reports should be taken with a silo of salt.

Thus ends the latest round of Kevin Love rumors. Until an hour from now, when they’re off again.

 

Read More: Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Kevin Love, New Orleans Pelicans
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