It was no ordinary playoff game for Isaiah Thomas and the Celtics. A day before their round 1 match-up with the Bulls began, the C’s star lost his 22 year-old sister in a tragic car accident.
With a heavy heart, Thomas decided to play in the game. He could be seen during warm-ups being consoled by his teammate and longtime friend Avery Bradley. Just before the game, a moment of silence was held as tears streamed down his face. When his name was announced during introductions, the Garden erupted:
The Celtics’ overall performance in game 1 was forgettable. They were absolutely emasculated on the boards, as is often the case, and they let an 8-seed come into their building and steal home court advantage.
Still, the 53-36 rebound differential and 106-102 loss were overshadowed by an incredibly gutsy and inspiring effort by Isaiah Thomas. With emotions running high, IT dropped 33 points and dished out 6 assists:
After the game Brad Stevens offered praise for IT, calling him an amazing player and person:
Nobody would have blamed Isaiah for not playing, but instead he goes out and has an MVP-type of performance. It has been announced that he’ll play in game 2 on Tuesday night and then head home to Washington for the funeral service. He then plans on rejoining the team for game 3 in Chicago on Friday. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with him and his family.
Follow Jack Bardsley on Twitter @BostonsBigFour