Isaiah Thomas, Celtics to Steal No. 1 East NBA Standings as LeBron’s Cavs fall to Nuggets

PHOTOGRAPH: Keith Allison/Flickr | Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics

Everything is going smooth for Isaiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics after a 109-100 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday. The Cleveland Cavaliers recently lost to the Denver Nuggets and is on the verge of losing the top spot in the East NBA Standings to the Celtics.

Earlier this month, Isaiah Thomas revealed his obsession on East NBA Standings. After losing to the Los Angeles Clippers, Thomas expressed his frustration on coach Brad Steven’s substitution pattern. He called the loss “unacceptable” and told the reporters that “we can’t be experimenting in Game 63.”

Celtics could steal No. 1 seed on East NBA Standings

GM Danny Ainge decided to stand in the middle and fix the dispute between Thomas and Stevens. Since the loss, the Celtics is at 6-2 and remain as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. After a close victory over the Pacers, Thomas became more confident on the current state of the Celtics.

“Things are clicking for us,” Thomas said. “We’re playing at a level that’s kind of high right now. We’re looking for bigger things than [clinching a playoff berth]. It feels good to clinch, especially 10 or 11 games before the season is over, but we got a bigger goal. We want to advance it in the playoffs. That’s our goal for now, and go from there.”

With their recent victory, the Celtics are close to clinching a playoff berth and just one-game behind the reigning NBA champions Cleveland Cavaliers. Unlike in the previous games, Thomas isn’t talking about stealing the No.1 seed in the East. He revealed that the Celtics are more focused on finding the best versions of themselves before the playoffs arrive.

LeBron James frustrated after the Cavaliers lost to Nuggets

While the Celtics is continuously rising to the top of East NBA Standings, the Cavaliers recently suffered a 126-113 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday. After the game, LeBron James voiced out his frustration on their lack of defensive effort and called out his team’s toughness.

“It ain’t about a group. It’s about individuals,” James said after Cleveland allowed Denver to put up 73 points in the first half, score a whopping 70 points in the paint in the game and shoot 53.1 percent from the field and 42.3 percent from 3. “We’ve got to be more, just do more. It ain’t about no group. You can’t preach toughness. You’ve got to have it.”

The Cavs’ defense proved to be a major concern as they are currently ranked 22nd in NBA’s defensive efficiency, allowing 107.7 points per 100 possessions. If they fail to address their weakness, there is a higher possibility that the Celtics will earn the No. 1 seed in the East by the end of the season.

Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr

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