After Isaiah Thomas lit the Chicago Bulls up for 33 points in Boston’s Game 4 victory, the Celtics All-Star said his teammates have given him the energy to play through an emotionally taxing time in his life.
“Mentally and emotionally, I’m not here, so I just feed off what the guys give me,” Thomas said during his postgame press conference, according to ESPN’s Chris Forsberg. “[My teammates] give me a lot of confidence. I can’t do it without those guys. They believe in me.
“Being here is what makes me, I guess, sane. It makes me feel somewhat normal through these tough times.”
Thomas lost his 22-year-old sister, Chyna, in an automobile accident in Washington state on April 15, one day before Game 1 of Boston’s first-round series against Plain Cheap Jerseys Chicago. He did not speak with media and sat alone on the court moments before the game.
Thomas has emerged as a stud in Boston, earning his second All-Star appearance this year. He averaged 29.8 points per game in the regular season, powering Boston to the best record in the Eastern Conference, ahead of the defending NBA champions.
Thomas has become the most lethal late-game scorer in the league, underscored by 29 points in the fourth quarter and overtime in Game 2 against the Wizards. He has now led the Celtics to six consecutive playoff victories, and is eyeballing a seventh and an eighth in Washington as Boston attempts to complete a series sweep.
And the Kings, Suns, and Cavaliers all helped make it possible.
This is a man who, in 2014, lamented the lack of “team toughness” in the Penguins and wrote a hagiographic column on the work of Eric Godard and Paul Bissonnette – players known for being put out on the ice to make the opposition suffer physically rather than on the scoreboard.