Isaiah Thomas leads Celtics after sister killed in car accident

Phil Ellsworth  ESPN Images

Defensively, the Celtics did a decent job of holding the Bulls to just 42 percent shooting from the field but they were outworked on the boards by 53-36 which was the difference in what was otherwise a very close contest.

Isaiah Thomas wasn't even a definite to play when Celtics coach Brad Stevens addressed reporters an hour before Game 1 of their first round playoff series against the Bulls.

Added Crowder: "It was a little awkward for us".

The Celtics need to rebound. Instead of waking up joyful over the Resurrection, the Easter bunny, and NBA Playoff games, the Thomas family will be coping with the tragic passing of a sister and daughter. The Celtics went "about" $6 million higher than the offer you got from the Atlanta Hawks, and stole you away as the most memorable free agent signing maybe in franchise history. Those offensive rebounds led to too many second-chance opportunities for the Bulls. Dwight Howard was held to seven points but had 14 rebounds. Now they're hoping one of their biggest tormenters in that series, offseason pickup Al Horford, will be the piece needed to trigger a deep run. They chose to sit tight and ride out the season. Thomas was also named an NBA All-Star for the second straight season. Especially against the Bulls.

Really for all games played in late April and, at least, a few weeks in May (we'll discuss late May and early June in another column). It certainly was not because Fred Hoiberg figured out the best rotation after summer league, preseason, and 82 games of the regular season.

Unfortunately, this series probably won't live up to that classic seven-game war (because that's how insane that series was), but the Bulls have made their unlikely path to the postseason and eight years later, the Bulls will face off against the C's in the first round of the playoffs.

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What Wade did discuss is the two-plus seasons he has logged playing his favorite basketball - playoff basketball. Which makes it hard for fans and the front office to know if he is the player that will lead this team back to the top of the East, or be the asset that kickstarts a needed rebuild.

Ultimately, it looks to be a matter of time before all the attention shifts toward another offseason centered around Jimmy Butler's future.

Be proactive - Use the "Flag as Inappropriate" link at the upper right corner of each comment to let us know of abusive posts. Chicago started with Nikola Mirotic at power forward. Then he hit a two a minute later. How did he jet into the paint like always, swish his first two 3-pointers, and put as much pressure on the defense as he typically does? Portis was on fire tonight and was the polar opposite of his counterpart, Mirotic.

Even if Thomas does not miss any games in this series, nobody can know how the impact his sister's death will have on his state of mind from game to game.

And now, in a black-cloud scenario they've faced an incredible 10 times before, the Raptors find themselves having to claw their way back.

Following the first loss of the season that dropped the Bulls to 3-1 on November 2, reporters were granted access just as Rajai Davis belted the Game 7-tying homer in the eighth inning of the Cubs-Indians World Series.



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