It’s almost easy to forget what Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas has gone through since the start of the series against the Bulls.
“Mentally and emotionally, I’m not here,’’ Thomas said honestly after the Celtics’ victory Sunday in Game 4. “So I just feed off what the guys give me. They give me a lot of confidence. I can’t do it without those guys. They believe in me, and being here is what keeps me, I guess, sane. It make me feel somewhat normal through this tough time.’’
Meeting with the media for the first time since his sister, Chyna Thomas, was killed in a car accident April 15, the teary-eyed Thomas’ one request before he came to the podium was no questions about his younger sister.
That didn’t stop him from discussing how important being on the court and being around his teammates has been for him in dealing with the tragedy.
“They’ve been really important,’’ Thomas said. “They’ve been everything. This organization is the best organization there is. From the people who work at the Garden, the players, the coaches, everybody who’s a part of the Celtics. They’ve been supportive. The whole world has, really. I can’t say enough about it.’’
Meanwhile, the Bulls can’t say enough about Thomas and what he has endured in this series, but at the same time, they have to find a way to slow him down.
Through four games, Thomas is averaging 25.5 points, six assists and four rebounds.
“It’s very tough [to contain him],’’ Dwyane Wade said. “They do a good job of moving you around. You have to be disciplined. If you aren’t disciplined to the game plan, it seems like they will score every time.
“Obviously, a guy who can score 30 a night is a handful. He can get on a roll and play like the young star that he is.’’
Jimmy Butler will enter Game 5 on Wednesday averaging 42.3 minutes in the postseason, including just under 46 minutes Sunday.
He’s not looking for a lighter workload, however.
“It’s very realistic because that’s what the team needs me to do,’’ Butler said when asked if he could maintain the heavy load. “I feel like D-Wade and all those players have big minutes, guard on both ends of the floor, attack, score . . . I want to win.
‘‘So if I have to play the whole game, if that’s what Coach [Fred Hoiberg] asks me to do, and my teammates think I can do it, I’m cool with that.’’