Boston Celtics

Jae Crowder on loss to 76ers: 'That’s what happens when you overlook an opponent'

Jae Crowder on loss to 76ers: 'That’s what happens when you overlook an opponent'

No matter how much Boston Celtics players talk about staying in the moment, they’re human. 

They pay attention to the basketball world around them far more than they try to let on. So prior to their two-game weekend trip to Brooklyn and Philadelphia, there was no need to talk to them much about Monday’s matchup against Washington. They knew it was coming which may have proven to be a bit of a distraction in their 105-99 loss at Philadelphia on Sunday.

Boston struggled in so many phases of play, seemingly at their worst to end quarters which gave an already-improving Sixers team more confidence and momentum going forward as they rallied from a 13-point Celtics lead in the third quarter to get the win. 

You can count Jae Crowder among those who believes there were a few bodies inside the locker room who may have had some of their attention and focus away from the Sixers and on to the next game against the Wizards who are right behind the Celtics in the Eastern Conference standings. 

“We were talking about, a few guys overlooking this game; I think so, looking forward to the Washington game,” Crowder told reporters after Sunday’s loss. “That’s what happens when you overlook an opponent, especially these guys.”

The Sixers came in having won two of its previous three games, the last of which was a blowout win over Dallas.

Dario Saric has emerged as their best player with Joel Embiid out for the rest of the season. Saric, a front-runner for the league’s Rookie of the Year award, led the Sixers with 23 points on 10-for-20 shooting on Sunday, in addition to grabbing six rebounds while dishing out four assists. 

Role players like Robert Covington (16 points, eight rebounds, two steals vs. Celtics on Sunday) have found ways to contribute while others such as Richaun Holmes (11 points, seven rebounds, five assists, four blocked shots) provide a specific niche that at the very least allows the Sixers to be more competitive. 

And while the Celtics led through various stretches all game, there was never a sense that they had full control of the game in large part because their level of focus never seemed to reach its peak. 

Now maybe not having Isaiah Thomas (knee) had something to do with that. Prior to Sunday’s game, Boston was 2-3 this season in games in which Thomas did not play. But that’s still no excuse for the team’s overall level of focus to not be high. In fact, one would think that playing without Thomas would have led to an increased level of focus and detail to try and make up for Thomas’ absence. 

“They’re very capable,” Crowder said of the Sixers. “They play so hard. A few of us were overlooking this game, going into tomorrow.” 

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Time to worry about Isaiah Thomas' hip injury?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Time to worry about Isaiah Thomas' hip injury?

0:41 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins to discuss how concerned he is about Isaiah Thomas’ hip injury and the scan he will go through in September to make sure his hip is good to go.

5:40 - Tom Curran, Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith break down the Patriots preseason game vs. the Texans, specifically Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady’s playing time.

9:41 - Evan Drellich joins BST to discuss how John Farrell mismanaged the bullpen during the Red Sox loss to the Indians.

13:25 - With Roger Goodell reportedly receiving a 5-year extension, the BST crew talks about the relationship between the NFL owners and the commissioner. 

Ainge: More tests to confirm Isaiah Thomas (hip) is on track

Ainge: More tests to confirm Isaiah Thomas (hip) is on track

BOSTON – Isaiah Thomas will undergo additional testing prior to the start of training camp, which as you might expect has elevated the concern level among Celtics Nation.

But Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, told CSNNE.com that the tests have more to do with re-affirming that Thomas remains on a good track health-wise, than any added concern for the two-time All-Star’s health.

Thomas, who will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2018, suffered a right hip injury last season that limited his effectiveness in the Celtics’ conference finals matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Boston eventually lost the series in five games, with Thomas unable to play due to the hip injury in the last three.

Ainge said earlier that Thomas’ injury would not require surgery.

"There's nothing else, other than what Brad [Stevens] said," Ainge told CSNNE.com.

Speaking on the Vertical Podcast with Chris Mannix, coach Brad Stevens said Thomas will have another scan in early September when Thomas returns to Boston.

From there, a more exact timeline will be established for Thomas’ return.

“It’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab,” Stevens said. “There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.

Stevens added, “We want what’s best for Isaiah. We want to make sure that when he is ready to roll, which hopefully is sooner rather than later, that he is ready to roll at his highest level and for the longest possible time, obviously, right? So that’s a lot more important to me than anything else.”