By Quenton S. Albertie
Following the Boston Celtics’ victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday, a game in which Atlanta mounted a 28-6 run to cut Boston’s 25-point lead lead to three late in the fourth quarter before eventually tying the Celtics, Celtics starters Marcus Smart and Al Horford were already looking ahead to their next game.
On Monday, the Denver Nuggets will visit Boston at TD Garden, and with them will be a Celtics fan favorite in point guard Isaiah Thomas.
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Thomas, who led Boston to the playoffs in the two seasons prior to being traded for Kyrie Irving (though he would actually play in three postseasons for the Celtics), had come to be admired and even revered for his passion and pure love for the game. There was no greater showcase of his character and competitive drive than Thomas hearing of his older sisters passing on a Saturday afternoon and still mustering up the emotional energy to play against the Chicago Bulls the next...