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Isaiah Thomas Reportedly Won't Be Suspended for Dennis Schroder Slap

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 23, 2016

Apr 16, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) waits for an inbound ball against the Atlanta Hawks during the first half in game one of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Celtics star Isaiah Thomas will reportedly not be suspended after hitting Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference playoffs on Friday. 

Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald and ESPN's Chris Forsberg reported Thomas would not be suspended by the NBA

Forsberg reported Thomas was assessed a flagrant-1 for the incident.

The play in question occurred late in the first quarter of Boston's 111-103 victory. Schroder drove to the basket and made a layup. As he made his way back to the other side of the court, Thomas made contact with the side of his face. 

Both players were assessed technical fouls following the exchange. It was the lone blemish on an otherwise brilliant night for Thomas, who scored a career-high 42 points in the win. 

After the game, per ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk, Thomas said he wasn't concerned about being fined or suspended by the NBA: "I didn't mean to hit his head. He got mad. He was talking. It's playoff basketball. That's what it's about. I'm not going to back down from anybody, and he knows that."

Boston head coach Brad Steven was also quoted in Youngmisuk's report as saying he didn't think the incident was over the line for either player: 

Sometimes, when you're competing, it gets physical. But I didn't think -- obviously the flagrants, I'll have to go back and look at them -- but obviously they were fouls where they got hit in the head. But I didn't feel like there was anything on either side that was over the line, from my impression when I was watching.

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Schroder explained his reaction after being hit in the head by Thomas to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution“I’m not going to let nobody slap me in my face. I told (Thomas) that. If you want to play like that, we’ll play like that. I was mad.”

Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer told Vivlamore he expected the NBA to review the play but did not appear to offer an opinion about whether or not Thomas should be punished. 

Friday's game was an emotional one for both teams, as there were several moments in which plays were being contested and bodies were going to the ground. Thomas took things to an extreme, though the Celtics seem to have dodged a significant loss by keeping him on the court for Game 4. 

Considering Boston is already playing without Avery Bradley because of a hamstring injury that could keep him out for the remainder of this series, Thomas' presence is more essential than ever if the Celtics hope to advance past the first round. 

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