The Boston Celtics bookended the NBA All-Star break with a couple of losses, but those L’s have been rare for this Isaiah Thomas-led contender. The Celtics (38-21) are at home tonight against the Atlanta Hawks (32-26) after holding on for a 104-98 win in Detroit on Sunday. Thomas recorded his astonishing 43rd straight 20 point game, scoring 33 against the Pistons. Thomas recently surpassed John Havlicek for the Celtics record there, and is deep into territory Celtics legends Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Paul Pierce never visited. What those players do have is championship rings, something Thomas wants desperately. Asked if he thinks the Celtics can topple the Cavaliers to own first place and home court in the Eastern Conference, Thomas said simply “that’s the plan.”
Can Boston catch Cleveland? Isaiah Thomas says, “That’s the plan.”
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) February 23, 2017
The Hawks are always a threat, but they are no longer among the elite Eastern Conference teams — supplanted by the Raptors, Boston and the surging Washington Wizards. The Celtics have been winning without much help from former Hawks big man Al Horford too, which can be seen as a good sign for Boston. Horford is due to rebound from his shooting woes and provide Boston with an offensive weapon they haven’t recently needed. To add to the many positives in Celtics Nation, Avery Bradley is due to return soon.