HOUSTON Kevin Garnett tried his best to unwind this weekend.
He really did.
But as hard as he tried to focus on letting his hair down (which is funny sounding when used as a description for a totally bald dude), there was this nagging thought that would never quite go away.
It was the upcoming road trip that begins Tuesday in Denver.
"Everything was cool (during All-Star weekend)," Garnett said after the East lost 143-138 to the Western Conference all-stars. "But in the back of my mind, thinking about Denver on Tuesday and Lakers on Wednesday and the schedule and what it's about to be in the second half."
Boston opens with the Nuggets and Lakers, two teams that the C's beat during their recent run of eight victories in the last nine games.
But each of those games was against a Rajon Rondo-less roster that teams had not really seen for an extended period of time.
The Celtics will now face teams that have seen first-hand how different they are without Rondo, and will likely make adjustments accordingly to try and slow down Boston's momentum.
"Mentally you have to be ready for Denver," Garnett said. "Their pace is incredible, especially at home. We just have to be ready. That's what it is."
There’s still no concrete answer on how long Isaiah Thomas’ right groin injury will keep him sidelined, but the 5-foot-9 guard probably will not play against Toronto on Friday.
Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, addressed Thomas’ availability on 98.5 the Sports Hub's Toucher & Rich show Thursday morning.
“It’s day to day,” said Ainge, who added that Thomas had an injection into his thigh muscle. “He is a warrior; he loves to play. He’ll be back faster than most players would be back after an injury. At the same time, we have to be really careful with Isaiah over the long haul and make sure he doesn’t come back and injure it.”
Thomas did not play in Boston’s 117-87 win at Orlando on Wednesday night, his first missed game since the 2014-15 season.
He is ranked among the NBA’s top-10 scorers with a career-high 26.0 points-per-game average, in addition to leading the Celtics in assists (6.2) per game.
Thomas has been effective while playing through an assortment of injuries during his time with Boston. But a groin injury isn't something that can just be played through, which is why the Celtics are wisely shutting him down now.
“We’ll try and get him as much rest as we can and get him back on the court when he’s ready,” Ainge said.
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