|Brad Stevens says Isaiah Thomas is ‘good to go’ for return against Wizards||03.20.17 at 6:34 pm ET|
After missing the last two games with a bruised right knee, Isaiah Thomas has been cleared to return against the Wizards.
The Celtics All-Star point guard injured the knee in last Wednesday’s win over the Timberwolves and missed Friday’s win in Brooklyn and Sunday’s loss in Philadelphia.
“Yep,” was Brad Stevens one-word answer in the affirmative when asked if the guard would be back in the lineup against a Washington team that is 1.5 games behind the Celtics in the race for the No. 2 spot in the East.
Stevens said Thomas received plenty of treatment for the bruised knee over the weekend, making the most of time away playing.
“Feeling a lot better,” Stevens said. “I think all the treatment over the weekend, which he had a ton of, was all positive. He’s good to go.”
Thomas sounded a bit more cautious, admitting that he wasn’t at full strength yet, “but I’m good enough.”
Then he added, “I can’t sit this one out. I know what’s at stake. I know it’s a big game for us.”
Stevens added that he doesn’t anticipate a minutes restriction for Thomas, who leads the team in playing time at 34.1 minutes a game.
“I don’t think so,” Stevens said. “I haven’t heard that from the training staff. Usually, the minutes restriction is as much to do [with] extended periods of time as anything else.”
Stevens was asked if he could tell Thomas was ready based on the team’s walkthrough Monday.
“Well, our walkthrough happened at about 4:45 [p.m.] and it was a WALK through so I think he looked great,” Stevens said. “But I have no idea how that translates to playing in a stance or running up and down the floor but I’ve been told he’s fine.”
On the importance of holding off Washington for the second seed in the East.
“I think it’s about playing good basketball,” Stevens said. “That stuff sorts itself out. Obviously, you want to be as good of a seed as you can. There’s no question about that. Again, I’d like to have some healthy games here to play good basketball and see if we can’t figure ourselves out as we head into the next month, plus.”
Monday’s game is the opener of a season-long six-game home stand. Entering Monday, the Wizards and Pacers (Wednesday) were the only team with a winning record of the six teams. Much has been made of the newly-created rivalry in the media between the Celtics and Wizards, featuring Isaiah Thomas and John Wall. A battle for playoff position only fuels it.
“My focus is on playing good basketball,” Stevens said. “When I think of rivalries, I think of years upon years upon years in the making. Certainly, we have a great deal of respect for how good these guys are. And that’s that. But we’ve got to focus on trying to do our best to play as well as we can against them, which means a lot of the focus has to be on what we’re trying to accomplish, and they’re going to be doing the same on their end.
|Celtics choice: Bradley Beal vs. Gordon Hayward||05.23.16 at 9:25 am ET|
As the days pass leading up to June’s NBA draft, we want to encourage the debate regarding what the Celtics should do with the No. 3 overall pick. In that spirit, we present “Celtics choice.”
Today: Using the No. 3 pick to trade for Wizards guard Bradley Beal (assuming he re-signs in Washington or somewhere else) or Jazz guard Gordon Hayward.
The case for Beal
At 6-foot-5, Beal has the ideal length to be a shooting guard, the role he’s most prominently served in Washington next to John Wall. He averaged a team-leading and career-best 17.4 points per game over 55 games this past season. He led the Wizards in their 10 playoff games from 2015 when he averaged 23.4 points. He is a career 40 percent shooter from 3-point range, another huge plus in the Stevens system. He is still very, very young, only turning 23 in June.
The case against Beal
Not worth the trouble and way too complicated. To acquire Beal, the Celtics could either go out and spend for him as a restricted free agent, opening the door for the Wizards to match or use Bird rights on him. Beal’s spent his first four years trying to prove he is a part of Washington’s future. Beal is set to become a restricted free agent on July 1 because he and the team didn’t come to terms on a contract extension before a Nov. 2 deadline. “I want to be here. I don’t know,” Beal said, according to the Washington Post. “I don’t even know what I’m getting into right now. It’s like choosing colleges again. But I’m happy where I am. Hopefully, we can agree with each other this summer and we can get it done. But if not, it’s a business at the end of the day.”
|NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Florida SG Bradley Beal||06.23.12 at 7:42 pm ET|
As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.
Position: Shooting guard
Weight: 201 pounds
Achievements: 2012 All-SEC first team, 2012 SEC All-Freshman first team, 2012 All-SEC Tournament first team
Key 2011-12 stats: 14.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 34.2 minutes
What he brings: Beal is a threat from outside thanks to his accurate, quick-release 3-point shooting stroke. Beal also is a good rebounding guard, as he led his team with 6.7 boards in his lone season at Florida. His 3-point shooting, as well as his high basketball IQ and strong work ethic, have drawn comparisons to Ray Allen.
While Beal projects well as a marksman at the NBA level, he only has average explosiveness and leaping ability for an NBA guard, and he has average size for an NBA shooting guard at 6-foot-5.
Beal still has developing to do, but his one year in college left him projected as an NBA starter who can make an impact on a team.
Where the Celtics could get him: Beal is projected as a top-10 pick, so the C’s would have to put together a big package to move up that far.
Notes: Beal was named Gatorade High School Player of the Year at Chaminade Prep in St. Louis. … Beal was named tournament MVP while representing Team USA at the U-17 World Championships in 2010.
Video: Here is a highlight video of Beal’s lone season at Florida.
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