Isaiah Thomas plays many roles for the Celtics. He’s their All-Star point guard. He’s their best offensive weapon. He’s their team leader. He’s a force in the community who has embraced being a spokesman for the team and what it means to have “Celtics pride.”
And he’s an excellent pep rally master. Just listen to him pump up the prospects of the 2016-17 Celtics as he did this weekend:
“The NBA knows we’re going to be pretty good,” Thomas told reporters Saturday morning at his youth basketball camp in Reading, Massachusetts.
“Teams know. Everywhere I go, everybody’s excited about the Boston Celtics and we’re just going to try to take steps forward and continue to work. And I know Brad [Stevens] and the coaching staff are doing everything they can to put us in position to be successful. So we’ve got to bring it come October.”
Added Thomas: “The NBA’s excited. Boston’s almost back. We go to 22 national TV games (after playing seven last season). That means something. That says a lot, especially when you’re on national TV and the NBA puts you on there. We’re excited about it. I’m excited about the opportunity to put a smile on more people’s faces around the world.”
Boston has gone from plucky underdog with a great roster and sneaky-good talent to now being considered a legitimate force in the Eastern Conference with very real expectations to compete with the Cavaliers. They added Al Horford and are counting on internal improvement to put them over the top.
What’s interesting is that Horford wasn’t really considered a superstar by many. Even Celtics color commentator and legend Tommy Heinsohn said in the Celtics’ first-round loss to Atlanta that Horford wasn’t a great player. Yet he’s the only real improvement on this team. But he is a huge one. Horford is efficient in nearly every set, and a quality positional defender, even if he’s not great at rim protection or rebounding. Boston will be sharper, smarter, and more efficient with Horford.
Is Boston “back?” They’ll have to make major strides over last season and surprise many, but they’ve done just that the past two seasons. Either way, you can expect Thomas to be front and center letting people know that this team is ready to take on the world.
Courtesy: CBS Sports