BOSTON — Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Isaiah Thomas, who is in the starting lineup for Tuesday night’s Game 2 against the Washington Wizards, underwent intensive dental work.
Thomas had one of his left front teeth ejected in the first quarter of Boston’s Game 1 victory Sunday. An initial attempt to reposition the tooth by team doctors at the arena was unsuccessful, but that didn’t deter Thomas from scoring a game-high 33 points as Boston rallied from a 17-point deficit to win.
Thomas missed practice on Monday while undergoing oral surgery, and Stevens said he believes the All-Star point guard had to undergo more work before Tuesday’s game, in part because the damage was more than just the lost tooth.
“The tooth that was knocked out was not the only one that was affected. So he had some other issues there,” Stevens said. “So he was in getting oral surgery [Monday]. A few hours after practice ended, he came by the office for a minute, but was still … I don’t know if he went back to the dentist’s today or went to the hospital today just to work on it some more, but he’s continued to have some work on it.
“He’s good to go [in Game 2], but he’s still in a pretty good deal of pain. He’s got a swollen mouth. But they say that he’s doing really well from a recovery standpoint, which is positive.”
Stevens said Thomas was fitted for custom mouthguards for additional protection so soon after oral surgery.
“That will be strongly encouraged,” Stevens said. “And sometimes when guys are strongly encouraged to wear those, they wear them. And sometimes they throw them. So we’ll see.”
Thomas, playing on what would have been the 23rd birthday of his late sister Chyna, was seen interacting with his son, Jaiden, before Tuesday’s game. That included engaging in a lighthearted news conference before Stevens and Wizards coach Scott Brooks took to the podium for their pregame sessions.