As the Celtics look to make a push for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, they’ll have to do so this weekend without star point guard Isaiah Thomas. The C’s announced today (via Twitter) that Thomas, who is dealing with a right knee bone bruise, won’t join the club on its road trip to Brooklyn and Philadelphia.
The Celtics are scheduled to play the Nets on Friday and the Sixers on Sunday, so Thomas will miss those two games. It’s not clear if his absence will extend beyond that. Boston has a big game on tap for Monday with the Wizards, who will be looking to gain ground in the standings and win their season series with the C’s, so Thomas is likely aiming to get back on the court for that contest.
Here’s more on the Celtics:
- The 16th pick of the 2016 draft, French forward Guerschon Yabusele, has signed a D-League contract and will join the Maine Red Claws, Boston’s NBADL affiliate, tweets Chris Reichert of The Step Back. As we noted on Wednesday, Yabusele has arrived in America following a season with the Shanghai Sharks, and the Celtics will get a chance to take a closer look at him in the D-League down the stretch, as long as his sprained ankle cooperates.
- With the NCAA tournament getting underway today, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens was asked about the possibility of colleges attempting to pry him away from Boston. As Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe details, Stevens suggested that NCAA programs know better than to think he’d leave the Celtics anytime soon. “The only thing people usually call me for is to ask questions about candidates,” Stevens said. “Everybody has a pretty good idea of where I stand, and I think ultimately I’m going to be here. I think that’s pretty well known.”
- There have been questions recently about whether Lonzo Ball‘s outspoken father, LaVar Ball, would negatively impact the UCLA guard’s draft stock among NBA teams. For his part, Celtics GM Danny Ainge said this week that he would “never hold a player’s family against a player if I like a player,” per A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. The Celtics may be in position this spring to draft a player like Ball, since they’ll have a top-four pick.
- For more Celtics news and rumors, be sure to check out their team feed, which includes an item from earlier this week on Yabusele’s fellow 2016 first-rounder, Ante Zizic.