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Isaiah Thomas’ health will be the Boston Celtics top concern this season

Isaiah Thomas

By Joe Scirto

The Boston Celtics have made an abundance of moves this offseason through trades, the draft, and free agency, but the health of Isaiah Thomas‘ hip will ultimately determine the Celtics chances against the Cleveland Cavaliers when the 2018 playoffs roll around.

During Game 2 of the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas aggravated a right hip injury he originally sustained in March of the regular season. An injury that forced him to miss the rest of the series, erasing any hope the Celtics had of upsetting a heavily favored, LeBron James led, Cavaliers team.

Thomas’ injury has since drawn comparisons to the one suffered by former Syracuse Orange and Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jonny Flynn. Both Thomas and Flynn are of similar stature, shorter players with exceptional athletic ability. Flynn’s injury required surgery and soon ended his professional basketball career. Although doctors have determined that Thomas does not currently need surgery, at only 5’9, his hips and lower body are essential to the deadly hesitation moves he combines with elite quickness and ball handling to make up for a lack of height. A lingering hip injury could potentially be devastating to his overall game.

When the 2018 playoffs near, Boston will likely be in a tight race with Cleveland for the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. Securing the top seed will be crucial in a series against Cleveland and Thomas will need to be at full-strength if the Celtics are to do so. If he is not, Boston’s chances take a significant plunge. If he is, LeBron will be faced with his greatest Eastern Conference challenge since the Miami Heat narrowly edged the Celtics out in 7 games during the 2012 Conference Finals.

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