BOSTON (CBS) — Isaiah Thomas returned to the floor Wednesday night after missing 16 days with a bruised tailbone and right elbow, but it was clear the Celtics guard is still nowhere near being 100 percent.
Thomas played 20 minutes in Boston’s 93-86 loss to the Miami Heat, scoring just four points while shooting 2-for-7 from the field.READ MORE: Beverly Man Dies While Hiking On New Hampshire Trail
The rust was to be expected from a player who took a really nasty tumble two weeks ago and hadn’t been able to hit the practice floor until earlier this week. But it was apparent that Thomas’s backside was still hurting him when the guard couldn’t display his normal explosiveness with the ball.
His shot was flat (and at points wayyy off), he couldn’t penetrate, and when he did, the Heat didn’t have much trouble picking his pocket — with Thomas responsible for three of Boston’s 17 turnovers. He was a -18 in his time on the floor.
“There’s no excuses, I have to play better,” said Thomas. “I’m my biggest critic, I have to come out and play better, offensively and defensively.”
Thomas drew a charge late in the second quarter, falling back hard on his still-hurting tailbone. He mentioned before the game that he was worried about being too timid on the floor, but for one play, the injury seemed to slip out of his mind.READ MORE: Candlelight Vigil Scheduled In Memory Of 5-Year-Old Elijah Lewis
“I was playing so bad, I didn’t even care about the fall, honestly,” he said. “It hurt — the initial hit when I took the charge — but other than that, I was all right.”
Thomas has been a spark plug for the Boston offense, so his return to the court (and return to form) is essential for the team as they battle for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. But after seeing him in action Wednesday night, there’s a chance he may get a few more games off.
“I guess it will be determined by how he feels today and how he feels tomorrow,” Celtics president Danny Ainge told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Thursday. “I’m anticipating that he’ll be a little sore today and gives it a go Friday night. I guess there is a chance, depending on his feel, that we may keep him out a little longer. As far as I know the plan is to move forward and Brad will play it by ear.
“Isaiah, the last thing he wants to do is disrupt the team,” added Ainge. “He’s coming back because he wants to help us win, and he was obviously not himself last night.”MORE NEWS: Cost Of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Increasing 4.1%
Here’s hoping that Thomas can return to his explosive self sooner rather than later.