Isaiah Thomas Says Celtics Aren't Scared of Cavaliers Despite Game 1 Loss

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistMay 18, 2017

BOSTON, MA - MAY 17: Isaiah Thomas #4 of the Boston Celtics talks with the press after the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 17, 2017 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE  (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brian Babineau/Getty Images

Isaiah Thomas, fresh off a 117-104 trouncing at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, said on Thursday the Boston Celtics aren't about to start panicking. 

"We can't panic. It's only one game," he told reporters, via Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com. "One game. They took care of business and we just gotta take care of business in Game 2."

He continued: "I believe in these guys. We're not scared of Cleveland. They're not the Monstars. They're not on Space Jam. They lace up their shoes just like us. They just happened to play better than us in Game 1. We just gotta protect home court in Game 2 and get the win."

Recovering against LeBron James and the defending champions isn't something any team has been able to do this postseason, however. The Cavs are 9-0 in this year's playoffs and now 4-1 against the Celtics overall in the 2016-17 campaign. 

Still, doubting Thomas has been a fool's errand this year. The diminutive guard established himself as one of the game's most dangerous offensive weapons this season, averaging 28.9 points and 5.9 assists per game.

This postseason, he's led the Celtics to the Eastern Conference finals, all while dealing with the death of his sister and a tooth that was knocked out against the Wizards. But Thomas and the Celtics aren't done yet, as he said on Thursday, per Forsberg:

"We're not just happy to be here. We want to win this series. And that's what we're trying to do. We want to let everybody in this world know that we're for real and that we're one of the top teams in the NBA. With this series, we gotta go out and show the world. Everybody knows that everybody is counting us out. And we've been there before, though. It's nothing new for us."

It's nothing new for James and the Cavaliers either. So the Celtics, no matter how confident they remain, still face a daunting task.