BOSTON "Let's Go Cel-tics!" Let's Go Cel-tics!"
It's a common phrase you here all the time when the Boston Celtics play, and it's timing is usually about when the team's looking to make a run.
But on Thursday, with a couple minutes or so to play and the C's down by about 20 points, the chants started.
And they kept going and going and going.
The disappointment that the C's players felt in losing 98-79 to the Miami Heat goes without saying.
But the way the fans reacted even when the game was out of reach, clearly struck a chord with the players as well as C's coach Doc Rivers.
"Did you hear our crowd the last three minutes of the game?" Rivers asked to no one media member in particular. "What other crowd in the NBA does that? It's a terrific place to play. The fans were unbelievable. They did their part tonight. We just didn't do ours."
Added Paul Pierce: "We have the best fans in the world. Down 20, at home, in the playoffs, and they cheer us off the court. And that's just awesome. That's why we have the best fans in the world."
While it wasn't a topic of discussion following the loss, there's a chance that Thursday's loss could be the final home game for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen as members of the Celtics.
Both will become unrestricted free agents this summer, which gives them the ability to sign with any team they want to play for next season.
"I just wanted to say to all the fans thank you guys," Garnett said. "I've never in my life experienced anything like this - in any sport. I'm just truly blessed to be a Celtic and be a part of the city of Boston. That's what's up to all the New Englanders around here."
Appearing on The Vertical Podcast with Chris Mannix, Brad Stevens said that Isaiah Thomas’ hip will be evaluated by the Celtics in September before the team decides how to proceed.
The C’s were unsure of whether Thomas would require surgery on his right hip, which ended his postseason early. He has gone the offseason without surgery, so the C’s will look at it next month.
“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September when he arrives back here out east, and from there we will know an exact timeline," Stevens said. "Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. 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.
Added Stevens: “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.”
Stevens said that the uncertainty of not knowing whether Thomas would need surgery was challenging, but that his priority was the player.
“I don’t know if it was unnerving because you can only control what you can control, but it’s a big deal for me because it’s a big deal to him,” he said. “Ultimately, obviously you want to go into every season 110 percent healthy and we’ll find out where we stand with everybody, but more so you want what’s best for him.”
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