Isaiah Thomas finally got his chance to start a game for the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.
But Thomas wasn’t interested in discussing the virtues of new role after his team’s 100-98 loss to the Indiana Pacers.
Quite the opposite, in fact.
“We?re not gonna panic, but at the same time, changes need to be made,” Thomas said, via The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach. “And we need to as players take accountability.”
Thomas hardly is to blame for Wednesday’s loss, as he tallied team highs in points (27) and assists (7) while playing a game-high 36 minutes. But the fact remains that Boston now has dropped three games in a row, with the team’s only win coming at home against the Philadelphia 76ers. That’s not exactly the desired start for a team that many pegged to be a dark horse in the Eastern Conference this season.
“We?re expected to do something,” Thomas added. “A lot of people (have) us expected to go to the playoffs, but as of now we need to fix some things.”
Ironically, Thomas’ comments come on a night when head coach Brad Stevens made major changes to his starting lineup. With Marcus Smart sidelined due to a sprained left toe, Stevens paired Thomas with a brand-new frontcourt combination in Jared Sullinger and Amir Johnson.
The unit led Boston to an efficient night offensively, but it still wasn’t enough to catch the Pacers, who were 0-3 entering Wednesday’s contest. Thomas wasn’t the only player in the Celtics’ locker room who let his frustrations show.
“I don’t want to continue this bad habit; I want us to break it as soon as possible,” Avery Bradley told reporters after the game in an interview that aired on CSN New England’s postgame show. “These games come back and haunt us, especially these close ones, and we don’t want to look (back) later in the season and say, ‘Man, we should have had that one.'”
Stevens likely will continue tinkering with player combinations as the season progresses, but drastic changes aren’t likely just four games into the regular season. Still, it’s a good sign that Boston’s locker room isn’t ready to accept losing as the status quo.
Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images