At last, a win C's feel good about


At last, a win C's feel good about

MILWAUKEE There was no way to ignore the jubilation surrounding the Celtics' locker room following their 96-92 win over the Bucks.

For a team that tries to treat each win as just another successful night, Saturday's victory over Milwaukee was more than that.

It was the first game this season that the Celtics walked off the floor and actually felt good about how they played.

Sure, there were some rough patches along the way and yes, the lulls when Kevin Garnett takes a break were still apparent.

But the positives gained from Saturday far outweigh any of the setbacks experienced as the C's (3-3) are back to .500.

"This is more than a 'W' here," said Boston's Jason Terry who got his first start of the season and responded with 15 points on 5-for-7 shooting. "This is one that can propel you to good things."

Terry added, "this is Celtics basketball."

Even Coach Doc Rivers had to acknowledge that Saturday's win, while still counting as just one of what Boston hopes will be many, was indeed a special one.

"It was a good win because it was a hard win," Rivers said. "I told them, 'it's one win.' We just have to keep learning each other. When you bring in eight new guys to a basketball team, you're going to have some struggles. And we're struggling, and still won the game. That's good."

And it is that struggle to find a way to win - and actually win - that may be just what this team needs right now.

"Coach Rivers has talked the last three days about grinding it out," Terry said. "Whatever it takes to get the job done. Its not going to be pretty."

But for a team in transition, a team that's still searching for an identity, finding ways to win on the road - pretty or not pretty - is indeed a sign of growth.

And that kind of growth is hard to ignore.

Thomas strains right groin, says he'll 'be fine for Wednesday'

Thomas strains right groin, says he'll 'be fine for Wednesday'

The bumps and bruises continue to pile up for Isaiah Thomas, adding a new one to the group during Boston’s 107-106 loss at Houston. 
The 5-foot-9 guard said he strained his right groin in the second quarter, but added that the injury won’t force him to miss any games. 
“I’ll be alright,” Thomas told reporters after the loss. “I’ll get treatment. I’ll be fine for Wednesday (against Orlando).”
The injury appeared to have happened shortly after Houston’s Trevor Ariza hit a 3-pointer that put the Rockets ahead 55-45.
At the time it didn’t seem all that serious as Thomas, who had 20 points on the night, came down and drained a 3-pointer. 
But after the game, Thomas acknowledged his groin did bother him during the game in which he played 33-plus minutes. 
“A few drives I didn’t have the lift,” said Thomas, who finished with 20 points. “It is what it is. I’ll figure it out.”
Thomas, who played in all 82 regular season games last season in addition to each of Boston’s 21 games this season, has dealt with an assortment of injuries including but not limited to, a swollen middle finger injury on his left (shooting) hand. 
Thomas, an All-Star last season for the first time, has played at an elite level that should once again position him to be represent the Eastern Conference. 
Following Monday’s game, Thomas is averaging a career-high 26.0 points per game which ranks ninth in the NBA along with 6.1 assists. 

Smart: 'Can’t blame the officials for the outcome of the game'

Smart: 'Can’t blame the officials for the outcome of the game'

The fact that the James Harden of the Houston Rockets went to the free throw line 18 times which was more than the entire Celtics roster (12 free throw attempts total) certainly fired up conspiracy theorists among Celtics Nation. 
But what seemed to draw the most ire was what appeared to be a 3-pointer by Avery Bradley late in the fourth quarter that was initially called a long two-pointer. 
And after it was reviewed by the good folks in Secaucus, N.J., they allowed the ruling to stand because there wasn’t enough proof in the many replay angles for them to overturn the original call. 
The missed lay-ups by Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas in the closing seconds stand out, obviously. 
But the 3-pointer that wasn’t a 3-pointer was one of the more talked-about topics in the Celtics locker room afterwards. 
“From the angle we saw, it was a three,” Boston’s Marcus Smart told reporters after the game. “We definitely thought it was.”
Said Jae Crowder: “I thought it was a three. Nothing we can do about it now.”
It was that kind of game for the Celtics, one in which plays that could go either way more often than not, went against them. 
And while Bradley’s questionable two-pointer certainly was a factor in the game’s outcome, as was the free throw discrepancy and the late-game misses, ultimately the blame for Monday’s loss falls upon the Celtics players who were still in position to win despite all those setbacks.

They simply didn't get it done, when it mattered.
Smart, who had 13 points off the Celtics bench, understands that fans like to blame the officials when a game ends like Monday’s loss to Houston. 
“Officials, they did their job,” Smart said. “You can’t blame the officials for the outcome of the game. We made some costly plays down the stretch. Give credit to the Rockets. They made plays and executed down the stretch.”