Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge talks about Dwyane Wade's claim that there was no hot water in the Bulls' locker room on Wednesday
Highlights from the Boston Celtics' Game 5 victory over the Chicago Bulls
BOSTON – Time after time, we have seen the Boston Celtics struggle mightily when Isaiah Thomas was off his game.
Wednesday’s Game 5 against Chicago was about as bad as we’ve seen Thomas shoot the ball in a while, and was certainly his worst shooting game in this playoff series.
And there were the Celtics, surging ahead as Thomas struggled which wasn’t enough to derail Boston from coming away with a 108-97 Game 5 win over the Bulls which gives them a 3-2 series lead in the best-of-seven series.
Thomas finished with a game high-tying 24 points (Avery Bradley also had 24 points), but did so on 6-for-17 shooting.
In the past, we have seen the Celtics offense cave in quickly when Thomas was off the floor.
But for him to have an off night, instant loss right?
“I remain confident in those guys,” Thomas said. “I know they are really good shooters and we’re not too worried about the shooting percentage, especially myself. I’ve been getting good open looks; my teammates have been getting me open.”
But Thomas, like most of his teammates, have struggled hitting the open shot throughout this series.
In Game 5, Thomas had five uncontested field goal attempts and wound up missing four of them.
As a team, the Celtics connected on just 30.9 percent of their uncontested field goals (12-for-39) in Game 5.
Boston’s shooting struggles would have been significantly more impactful if not for the Celtics keeping turnovers to a minimum (just six for the game) as well as being more competitive than usual on the glass.
“I have no idea what the rebounding totals were but I felt like we were decent on the glass,” said Stevens who was given a final stats sheet moments later. “We’ve got to not turn the ball over … I have an idea now what the rebounding totals were; yeah, we were minus four. That’s a pretty good night for us.”
Actually, Boston’s 42-38 rebounding deficit in Game 5 was the closest the Celtics have been on the boards to Chicago in the three playoff games in this series at the TD Garden.
And it’s not just a coincidence that Boston’s best rebounding night at home also led to them getting the first home win for either team in this series.
But ultimately Boston has to do a better job of making baskets, especially the wide open ones that they as a team have consistently missed.
“We just gotta knock down the shots and Coach (Brad Stevens) keeps saying one day soon were going to knock down the open shots that we are missing,” Thomas said. “And it might be (Game 6). I’m happy about my teammates, how they played, and they picked up my slack.”
Which is a role reversal from what we’ve seen this season from the Thomas-led Celtics who for a change, had his back offensively and not the other way around.