One of the truly inspiring stories in the NBA season this year was the play of Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas. The generously listed 5’9″ guard ascended into superstar territory this season, ranking third in the NBA with 28.9 points per game and earning the nickname of ‘Mr. 4th Quarter’ thanks to his scoring exploits when it mattered most.
Thomas has had a rough time in the playoffs, getting his tooth knocked out in the Celtics’ second-round series against the Washington Wizards as well as injuring his hip. It was the latter that has lingered on into the Eastern Conference Finals.
Thomas did not return to the Celtics Game 2 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers after re-aggravating the injury and the Celtics announced on Saturday that Thomas will miss the remainder of the playoffs because of it:
The Boston Celtics today announced that Isaiah Thomas will miss the remainder of this year’s postseason following re-aggravation of a right femoral-acetabular impingement with labral tear during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Cleveland.
“Isaiah has worked tirelessly to manage this injury since it first occurred,” said Celtics Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian McKeon. “The swelling increased during the first two games against Cleveland, and in order to avoid more significant long-term damage to his hip, we could no longer allow him to continue.”
This is unfortunate news for Thomas and the Celtics as any hope of a comeback against the Cavaliers, while already slim as it is, basically evaporates without Thomas, their leader and leading scorer. Thomas was recently named to the All-NBA Second Team, but with the odds so firmly against the Celtics, trailing 2-0 and heading back to Cleveland, it is probably best not risk further injury moving forward.
With Thomas gone, the pressure will now fall on to Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier to step up in his place. The Eastern Conference Finals resumes on Sunday in Cleveland.