|Curtis Compton (Atlanta Journal Constitution)|
After reviewing the play, the NBA assessed a flagrant-one penalty to Thomas, who didn't have to speak to the league about the incident.
"It was the right call," Thomas said. "I'm really focused on Game 4, but I'm glad I wasn't suspended."After former NBA discipline chief Stu Jackson guaranteed a suspension would be handed down, it felt like Thomas would inevitably be forced to sit out.
Thomas, who swatted Schroder in the face while Schroder was jogging up the floor and getting back on defense, claims the hit wasn't intentional but knows how important it is to stay focused when tensions arise.
"It was definitely... [accidental]," Thomas said. "Both teams are trying to win the game. You've just got to be smart about whatever you do but knowing that it's playoff basketball and things are going to happen and it is going to get a little chippy. You've got to hold your composure and do what it takes to win. I'm just out there fighting and trying to get my teams wins."Thomas also went on to say that he was confident he wouldn't be suspended for Game 4 after reviewing the play.
"I knew what I did," Thomas added. "Yeah, the replay, in a slower version it's going to look like I looked at him and tried to hit him. If I try to hit somebody, I would've hit him. I know cameras are watching. I don't do it on purpose. But I'm just glad I wasn't suspended and I can help my team in Game 4."For a team that's already playing without Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk, not having Thomas for Game 4 against the Hawks would have been devastating news. The Celtics, down 2-1, will look to even the series on Sunday at TD Garden.
photo used is courtesy of associated press