Los Angeles Times
A short, bittersweet break for Thomas
The already short break between rounds of the NBA playoffs won’t provide much of a rest for Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas.
Thomas left after the Celtics’ first-round series-clinching victory over Chicago on Friday night to f ly to Tacoma, Wash., and attend his sister’s funeral. He was expected to fly cross-country and arrive in Boston early Sunday morning, in time to play in the 1 p.m. EDT start of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Washington Wizards.
“It’s hard to think about how he feels right now,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Saturday, the only off-day between rounds, after the rest of the team went through a film session and walkthrough.
Stevens said he and the rest of the team would have accompanied Thomas for support if there had been no game on Sunday. Instead, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and assistant coach Jerome Allen went with Thomas.
The Celtics and Wizards split their regular-season matchups. The two teams have been brewing an increasingly bitter rivalry since last year, when Boston swept the season series.
Warriors are healing
The Golden State Warriors hope to get injured reserves Shaun Livingston and Matt Barnes back from injuries for the second round after getting more than a week off between series.
The Warriors said Saturday that Barnes has been upgraded to probable for Tuesday night’s Game 1 and Livingston remains questionable but is hopeful he will be ready to return. Star forward Kevin Durant is expected to be a full go after missing two games and being limited to 20 minutes in Game 4 last round because of a strained left calf.
Barnes has been sidelined since April 8, while Livingston sprained a finger on his right hand in Game 1 of the first-round series against Portland.
Golden State begins the second round at home Tuesday night against the winner of Sunday’s Game 7 between the Clippers and Utah Jazz. The Warriors have been off since sweeping the Trail Blazers last Monday, giving them more than a week between games.
There is no update on the status of coach Steve Kerr, who missed the final two games of the first round because of complications from two back surgeries. Kerr talks daily with interim coach Mike Brown and took part in coaching meetings Friday but was not at practice Saturday.