In the Celtics’ crushing 110-83 loss to the Hawks on Tuesday, it was reported by the organization that Isaiah Thomas suffered a “mild sprained ankle” in the fourth quarter of their game. It occurred when Thomas landed awkwardly after euro-stepping through the Hawks defense and finishing a lefty layup.
Although it didn’t look severe during the action, Thomas came up limping and immediately fouled Mike Scott so he could come off the floor. Without any hesitation, Thomas ran back into the locker room without acknowledging anyone.
Coach Brad Stevens said that Thomas will “get treatment tomorrow and…go from there.”
Reporters then flocked over the first-time All-Star to get his take on the situation. “I’m great, ready for Game 6. I’ll play no matter what,” said Thomas.
Game 6 is on Thursday and Boston would be at an even greater disadvantage with Isaiah Thomas sidelined. Avery Bradley, their best perimeter defender, has been out since the first game, and losing Thomas, their best playmaker, would spell disaster for the Celtics’ offense. Entering Game 5, Thomas was averaging 28.3 points, 4.3 assists, and shooting 34% from downtown.
Thomas being optimistic about playing Thursday is superb for the organization and the fans, but it’s hard to gauge how effective he’ll be in Game 6. Since Thomas is a small player, his game revolves around athleticism and the ability to elevate over much taller defenders. And it’s incredibly tough to be have 100% explosiveness with a sprained ankle.
With that said, Evan Turner and Marcus Smart, who received bigger roles after the Bradley injury, are going to need to be on high alert to bear more on offense. Both are capable playmakers and outstanding decision makers, but nowhere near the three-point shooting threat that Thomas is. At 36%, Thomas is the fourth-best deep shooter on the team; Turner and Smart shoot at 24% and 25%, respectively.