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May 16, 2017

Isaiah Thomas

Boston, Massachusetts: Practice Day

Q. Some Celtics fans are saying if you won one game against Cleveland they'd be happy.
ISAIAH THOMAS: That's their opinion. We've been counted out since I've been here. It's nothing new.

Q. Does it motivate you as a player when you hear that kind of criticism?
ISAIAH THOMAS: It helps a little bit, but at the same time, we're so focused on what's going on in this group of guys we have. We're not really focused on the outside noise and what people think we're going to do. The first couple rounds, they didn't think we were going to get past that. So we're not really worried about what others are thinking. We're just going to take care of business as we go.

Q. When you look at this Cleveland team, are they a better team than what you saw in the regular season?
ISAIAH THOMAS: Yeah, they're playing really confident. They're playing at a high level. Everybody on that team is playing at a high level. It's going to be tough, but we're here, and we're ready.

Q. Have you learned anything from the way they played you in the playoffs two years ago?
ISAIAH THOMAS: No, we're a totally different team. I'm a totally different player. I'm definitely not going to watch that.

Q. What is the key to taking care of this Cavs team at home tomorrow night?
ISAIAH THOMAS: Limit their transition, limit our turnovers. We play them pretty well in the half court, so if we can get them to slow the game down, and like I said, limit those two things, that puts us in probably the best position to win tomorrow.

Q. It seemed that after that series against Cleveland a couple years ago, you became a more diverse player offensively. It seemed like you kind of figured out you needed to do a lot more to be effective. Is that fair to say?
ISAIAH THOMAS: Yeah, I can't only just score. I've got to be able to continue to make plays, get in the paint, put pressure on the defense even when I'm not scoring. I'm just becoming more of a student of the game. My game is maturing more, and I'm just getting better. I think that's just the difference between then and now.

Q. Last night you said your whole body hurt. How are you feeling today?

Q. Talk about having your dad there at Game 7 [against Washington].
ISAIAH THOMAS: It was special for him to be here and for him to get his mind off a few things and just be in an area, be in a place where it was all love and support. I was glad he came out, and he's always a good-luck charm for me.

Q. Are you looking forward to facing LeBron in the playoffs?
ISAIAH THOMAS: I'm looking forward to it. It's a big moment. We've never been here before against the defending champs. Everyone is counting us out, so it's special for us. We're ready to take on whatever they bring.

Q. At the start of the season, did you think personally to yourself that this was possible for this team to go this far and reach the Eastern Conference Finals?
ISAIAH THOMAS: I did. But if I would have told you all that, I think everybody would have probably laughed at me. But that's just the way I think. I believe any team that I'm a part of, not just saying me, but we have a chance, and this team believes we have a chance, and we know we have a chance. We're the No. 1 seed for a reason.

Q. Is their long layoff an advantage for you guys?
ISAIAH THOMAS: I mean, it can be. They're definitely getting a lot of rest, but at the same time, your rhythm won't be there as if you were playing in games. That's just normal. Practice isn't games, so their rhythm might be off a little bit. But they're the defending champs. They know how to win.

Q. Are you tired from playing all these games?
ISAIAH THOMAS: No. I like playing more than practicing. It's a good feeling to be able to continue to keep playing. It's almost the end of May and [some other] teams have not been playing for more than a month. So it's nice.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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