Isaiah Thomas has already been ruled out of playing in the remainder of the NBA playoffs, but is the career of the Boston Celtics star in jeopardy? That could be Isaiah Thomas’ fear as he considers his medical options.
Just days after the Celtics shut Thomas down for the postseason (courtesy of NBA.com), he is now looking at staying the same dynamic player down the road in his career.
According to an ESPN report, Isaiah Thomas will seek out a specialist to determine what options he has regarding his injured right hip.
The hip injury took place in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Thomas was injured in the first half and did not play at all in the second half.
For Celtics’ coach Brad Stevens, sitting Thomas was a tough decision due to the fact that he often plays through pain.
“There were times where you could see he was really struggling but probably nothing like the other night. I thought the first half he was really hurting, really didn’t have any bounce, didn’t have any push. And it’s one of those things where, being around him for the last couple of years, I mean, he wants to play through any and all circumstances.”
One of the options that Isaiah Thomas must consider is hip surgery. If surgery winds up being the case, he may miss a considerable amount of time.
Isaiah Thomas overcame grief and pain to put together one of the more mesmerizing seasons in Celtics history. https://t.co/jV8b9zNLhr
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 21, 2017
There is some good news in what has been a hard luck, nightmarish postseason — Thomas’ hip injury does not appear to be career-threatening. Some will wonder if the 5-foot-9 guard can come back and be the same type of player he was prior to suffering the injury. He had been playing with a bad hip since the middle of March.
No Isaiah Thomas means that there is little chance that the Boston Celtics can take a game from the Cleveland Cavaliers. If so, it would require a strong team effort by the Celtics. And they would have to do it on the road in Cleveland, not necessarily an easy task.
"He wants to play through any and all circumstances," Brad Stevens says of Isaiah Thomas. Says IT tried to make case to return in 3Q of Gm 2
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 21, 2017
LeBron James praised Isaiah Thomas for the season he had, but the Cavaliers’ superstar vowed that his team will not take things lightly in Game 3.
“We hate that Isaiah got hurt. Salute to him on an unbelievable season. What he was able to accomplish this year and the things that he did in the postseason, under the circumstances with the tragic death of his sister. But for us as a unit, it’s never been about one guy.”
For the Celtics, their season is on the line. Despite not having Isaiah Thomas, they must still play on.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) May 20, 2017
What the Celtics may also have to do is debate whether or not Isaiah Thomas is a long-term answer as a cornerstone. His hip injury, coupled with his smallish size, could become a topic for discussion as the Celtics look towards the future.
No one expected the Boston Celtics to topple the Cleveland Cavaliers this time around. That lessened the pressure they were under. The Celtics have a roster filled with young players that have a lot of upsides. There is enough cap space for the Celtics to target one of the top free agents this summer, so they will be back.
The Isaiah Thomas story does not have to come to an end immediately either. He is a free agent in the summer of 2018. The Celtics will have another full season to determine whether or not they are comfortable investing in Thomas. Meanwhile, they will be grooming the prospect they will take with the NBA draft’s top overall pick. That player could Markelle Fultz or Lonzo Ball. Either of them could be given the keys to the Boston Celtics’ engine.
[Featured Image by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images]