Isaiah Thomas, Boston Celtics garner respect at All-Star Weekend
The Celtics are on to something. If you’re reading this blog, you already knew that.
Following NBA All-Star Weekend, some of the league's favorite players are starting to come around what Boston’s true believers have been saying for three seasons. As reported by The Boston Herald's Mark Murphy, players like Toronto’s DeMarre Carroll, Golden State front court impact player Draymond Green, and the Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue, all acknowledged Boston’s growth and their unique approach to the type of game basketball is fast becoming.
Atlanta power forward Paul Millsap, was quick to point out the similarities between the Celtics and the Hawks, another team that has found success with an aggressive, competitive, team-first system of play.
“I can see the similarities for sure, for sure,” Hawks power forward Paul Millsap said of his team and the C’s. “They’re like a game up on us in the standings, and they’re a very competitive group, first off. “And with a competitive group, whatever system they have they’re going to compete. But with the system they have implemented, it makes them a little bit tougher. The things we do are tough to guard, and with what they do, it makes them very tough.”
Coming out of All-Star Weekend and right into the trade deadline the Celtics find themselves in an interesting spot. Despite a rebuilding phase stacked with praise being heaped on the team and coaching staff alike, what Boston has lacked in the last few years has been a core of players that could potentially attract an impact player or free agent that could help lead Boston to their 18th championship. A big piece of that puzzle has dropped into place with Isaiah Thomas being named to the All-Star team and putting his talents on display in both the Skills Challenge and in the All-Star game itself.
Not surprisingly, one taste was not enough for IT4, who has vowed this won’t be his last appearance in that spotlight, as reported by A. Sherrod Blakely
“I’m getting back again next year, no doubt,” said Thomas who had nine points. “Like I said, I want to make it an every year thing, something I get used to every February. I just have to keep working.”
As if Thomas wasn’t busy enough on the court, he was doing a little recruiting for Boston as well, fielding questions from other All-Stars who may be wondering if the grass is greener in Boston.
#IsaiahThomas says a player, who he will not name, asked him about Boston... As in that player is interested in joining the Celtics.— Marc D'Amico (@Marc_DAmico) February 13, 2016
I. Thomas said an all star this weekend asked him about Boston. When Al Horford's name was mentioned, IT smiled, "I didn't say (his name)"— A. Sherrod Blakely (@SherrodbCSN) February 13, 2016
The Horford thing is essentially a pipedream at this point, but hey… that’s what this week is all about. Having a player the caliber of IT4 on arguably the most team friendly deal in the NBA is a dream come true.
More on Isaiah’s recruiting efforts, players buying into the Stevens System, and Danny Ainge facilitating magic as stories develop.
Follow Padraic O'Connor on Twitter @padraic_oconnor