By and large, the Boston Celtics are a team with few controversies. But when there’s an issue, the players aren’t afraid to speak their minds — especially Isaiah Thomas.
Thomas’ frustration appeared to boil over Monday night after the Celtics blew a double-digit lead to lose the Los Angeles Clippers, one day after their heartbreaking defeat to the Phoenix Suns. The All-Star point guard sat at his locker in full uniform for nearly 30 minutes after Monday’s loss, according those on the scene, and explained his anger when approached by reporters.
“We should have won this game,” Thomas said, via ESPN.com’s Chris Forsberg. “We should have won (Sunday) night (in Phoenix). We can’t be experimenting in Game (64).”
Did Thomas have an issue with head coach Brad Stevens’ lineup choices, as his “experimenting” comment would suggest? When asked to clarify, Thomas responded cryptically.
“You can watch film,” Thomas said. “You know what it is.”
He met another question about Stevens’ rotations with silence.
Stevens did roll out some unique lineups Sunday and Monday, giving inexperienced players Jordan Mickey and James Young minutes and at one point rolling out a unit he hadn’t used all season: Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Young and Jordan Mickey.
Of course, injuries partly are to blame for Stevens’ shuffling: Avery Bradley and Al Horford, both starters, didn’t play Sunday, while Horford and Jonas Jerebko were inactive Monday. But Thomas wasn’t interested in making excuses after Boston’s second straight loss.
“It’s just the way we lost (Monday) was unacceptable,” he added. “We lost the game in the last 15 minutes of the game. We played a really good game up until the last 15 minutes.
“And that’s the players’ fault, the coaches’ fault, that’s everybody in this locker room’s fault. We could have done a lot better.”
Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images