Thomsen: Rondo was holding Celtics back

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Thomsen: Rondo was holding Celtics back

You already know how bad the Celtics were playing before Rajon Rondo was lost for the season with an ACL tear.

And you already know how good the Celtics have played since that injury.

Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen joins Damon Amendolara to talk about the C's before and after Rondo, and even goes as far as saying that Rondo was "holding them back" out there on the court.

What does that mean for his trade value, or chances of getting traded by the C's now?

Thomsen discusses that and much more on the Rondo front.

Brad Stevens keeps Gerald Green in starting lineup in Game 1 vs. Wizards

Brad Stevens keeps Gerald Green in starting lineup in Game 1 vs. Wizards

BOSTON – Brad Stevens inserted Gerald Green into the starting lineup during the Chicago first-round series and the Boston Celtics haven’t lost a game since the move was made.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Stevens plans to stick with that starting five heading into tonight’s Game 1 matchup against the Washington Wizards. 

Green has been credited with helping the Celtics better space the floor which has been beneficial to an offense that has sputtered at times to start games. 

But he’s contributing at the other end of the floor as well.

“He certainly is more than capable,” Stevens said. “He’s long, athletic. He can fly in and tip rebounds if he doesn’t grab them. He can keep them alive by jumping over a big. He’s able to challenge shots. When you shoot it and he’s in the vicinity, you know what he’s capable of, getting up in the air. Being there on the catch and making it tough as possible has been good for us, with him.”

During Boston’s four game winning streak – all with Green in the starting lineup – he has averaged 11.0 points per game while shooting 45.9 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from 3-point range. In addition, Boston’s defensive rating in the four games Green has started is 98.1 which is third-best among playoff teams, and the team’s net rating is +13.9 which is second among teams in the postseason.

Celtics show support for Isaiah Thomas at sister's funeral

Celtics show support for Isaiah Thomas at sister's funeral

BOSTON – Hours before tip-off, Isaiah Thomas was on the parquet floor launching jumpers, working on his ball-handling, doing all the little things that he does before every Boston Celtics game.

But this is no ordinary game.

It’s Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against Washington, Thomas’ first foray into the postseason beyond the first round.

But that’s not the only thing that makes this moment so surreal for Thomas.

This game comes 24 hours after his 22-year-old sister Chyna J. Thomas, was laid to rest in his hometown of Tacoma, Wash.

Thomas, along with president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and assistant coach Jerome Allen, made the trek to Tacoma, Wash. following Boston’s Game 6 win at Chicago to attend the funeral, and returned to Boston Saturday evening.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens has had several conversations with Thomas since his sister died in a one-car accident on April 15, most of which had little to do with basketball and everything to do Thomas’ well-being off the court.

“I saw the clip of him speaking at the funeral,” said Stevens who added that he has talked to Thomas since he returned to Boston. "My discussion with him wasn’t about basketball, just how hard it is to speak at a funeral. So, he’s been through a lot. He’s been through a lot and he just continues to amaze us all when he steps on that court, with his resolve and his ability to be in what he calls his sanctuary.

Stevens added, “he’ll continue to have really tough days. I don’t think that’s going to stop.”

Neither will the support he has received and will continue to receive from his teammates.

“My mom passed away two years ago and he was there to support me,” said Avery Bradley, who grew up in the same Tacoma, Wash. neighborhood as Thomas. “And it happened during the season so it’s hard right now but all you can do is know that they’re in a better place and use it as motivation to go out there and live every day for them and play every game for them.”