After a devastating loss to the Denver Nuggets, the Boston Celtics immediately returned to the winning column with a 100-80 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday night at TD Garden. Isaiah Thomas, who scored team-high 22 points, believes that good defense helped them win most of their games.
“When we play defense, we usually win,” Thomas said. “Fifteen games left, we gotta play our best brand of basketball, because we know Washington is playing really well right now. Cleveland’s not going to play like they have been, for the most part. We just gotta control our own destiny, control what we can control, and that’s by bringing it each and every night. Luckily, we got home games, so we need to protect home court and go from there.”
Isaiah Thomas and the Celtics hold an increased pressure as the Washington Wizards managed to overtake in the Eastern Conference standings. Earlier this season, the Wizards struggled in most of their games and projected to suffer another disappointment. Fortunately, John Wall and Bradley Beal built a good chemistry that helped them rise to the top of the East.
Of all the Celtics’ players, Thomas holds the heavier load as the team’s leading scorer. He knows they need to win the remaining games of the season in order to secure a better spot in the Eastern Conference. Their previous losses made him very frustrated, especially when they lost against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Thomas voiced out his opinion and said that the Celtics could win the game if coach Brad Stevens made a better substitution pattern. General manager Danny Ainge stood in the middle to fix the issue. Both Thomas and Stevens seemed to understand each other which helped them do a better job in their succeeding games.
Jae Crowder reveals Isaiah Thomas checks the East standings often
Unfortunately, the Celtics failed to become consistent. After upsetting the Golden State Warriors, the Celtics lost to the Denver Nuggets and allowed them to score 119 points. Thomas’ statement about their defense proved right since they managed to win games when they hold opponents to less than 100 points.
“I went to dinner with Isaiah after the Denver [loss this on Friday] and he was pretty pissed because the Wizards had won and gained second place,” Jae Crowder said. “I told him, ‘Don’t worry about it. We got a lot of games left and we’ll get them back. We just have to take care of each game at a time.’ I don’t check [the standings] too often; Isaiah checks a lot.”
No one can blame Isaiah Thomas for being cautious about their standing as it would be a huge factor in the upcoming postseason. As of now, they need to continue winning games in order to regain the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Here are the game highlights between the Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls:
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr.com
Video courtesy: Youtube/Ximo Pierto