Celtics old Finals wounds still fresh during preseason

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Celtics old Finals wounds still fresh during preseason

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- When Doc Rivers arrived to coach his first preseason game at TD Garden on Sunday, old feelings accompanied him there.

Theyre the kind that dont go away just because last season ended four months ago. Thats because instead of returning to the Garden as defending NBA champions, the Celtics are looking to avenge last seasons Game 7 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Its painful every day, honestly, Rivers said before the Celtics took on the Toronto Raptors. I dont think thatll go away.

Rivers has found it nearly impossible to avoid mention of the Lakers victory.

They show the video all the time, you can get a Sports Illustrated subscription, he pointed out. It drives me nuts, it honestly does. So many times I walk away from the TV, even Sports Illustrated at times. But I dont think thatll ever go away. Dont think it should.

Even though the wound is still open, Rivers believes it is important for his team to be reminded of the heartbreaking loss.

We showed our team a little clip of it, of the celebration at least, on opening day at training camp and I was amazed at how raw that still was with the players, he said. I underestimated that, and so that was, in a way, good. Thatll stick with you forever.

Rivers thinks about last seasons Game 7 loss more often than their Game 6 triumph in 2008. He says he knows he should focus on the positive -- Larry Brown talked to him about that this summer -- but believes he and his players arent built that way.

You do think about Game 7, over and over again, he said. Im sure thatll last for a long time.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcamerato

Thomas won’t play Friday night vs. Raptors

Thomas won’t play Friday night vs. Raptors

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Celtics are about to hit one of the toughest stretches of the season and they’ll have to do it for at least one more game without their leading scorer, Isaiah Thomas. 
 
Thomas, who suffered a right groin injury on Monday against the Houston Rockets, did not play on Wednesday against Orlando and said that he will not play in Friday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors. 
 
“It’s day to day. I want to play. I want to be out there but it’s the smart decision to hold out and wait until it’s 100 percent,” Thomas said during a Season of Giving event for children of the Military Friends Foundation held at the Celtics’ practice facility. “If it was a playoff game I would be out there for sure.”
 
However, after consulting with a number of medical personnel, Thomas decided the best thing for him and the Celtics was to sit out Friday’s game which, along with Wednesday in Orlando, will be the first two he has missed since the 2014-2015 season. 
 
Thomas said there’s no specific timetable for his return, but he said he is planning to travel with the team to Oklahoma City for their matchup against the Thunder on Sunday. 
 
“It’s eating me a live to sit, but I have to do what’s best for my body, I have to do what’s best for this team,” Thomas said. “I need to be 100 percent healthy to give this team what I can give them.”
 
The Celtics are hoping for similar success they had Wednesday in Orlando (a 117-87 victory) on Friday against Toronto.
 
“They played a hell of a game last night,” Thomas said. “They’ll be ready tomorrow.”
 
The fact that Thomas intends to travel with the team is a good sign that the groin injury isn’t too serious. 
 
If he doesn’t play at Oklahoma City, that likely means he’ll return to action on Wednesday at San Antonio. 
 
“I’m going to do what I can to get back out there on the court,” Thomas said. “I gotta be smart about this. I don’t want this to linger on this season.”
 
Replacing Smart in the lineup against Toronto will most likely be Marcus Smart. 
 
Smart, who has been a replacement starter at small forward and point guard this season, had 13 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals against the Magic.