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bout Isaiah being pretty ambitious in his return, said Stevens. And hes been getting treatment around the clock,

BOSTON -- All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas said those who believe the Boston Celtics are better without him dont even believe what theyre saying. New Balance Running Shoes Discount .Thomas, sidelined by a groin injury, wasnt with the team when it posted a lopsided 117-87 victory over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night. That led to speculation on Boston sports radio and local TV about whether Boston might be better without Thomas because of the ball movement the team displayed in his absence.Asked if hed heard any of the chatter before Fridays 101-94 loss to the Toronto Raptors, Thomas downplayed it.Theyre a better team without me. The ball moves better without me. I see it all, Thomas said. They gotta write something. They say the stupidest things so they get the headlines and everybody can talk about it. I cant control that. At this point, I laugh about it now. Because its like, if you really think that, OK, thats fine. I know what I mean to my teammates, I know what I mean to this organization and to (coach) Brad Stevens. The ball moved a little better without me. I guess so.Added Thomas: It is what it is. But people that say that, they dont even believe it. They go home at night, theyre not believing that. Theyre just saying it to get a reaction. Im trying my best not to react. If it was anybody else, we wouldnt be talking about that. Im 5-9, thats the only reason why they say that. Im fine with that. I know what I bring to the table. My teammates know what I bring. As long as they are happy, Im fine. Im not going to react. I try not to. I try to think of what Kobe [Bryant] said: Be a lion. Just lock in and dont worry about what others say.Thomas, who missed his second consecutive game Friday against the Raptors, is hoping to be back on the floor Wednesday when Boston visits the San Antonio Spurs in a national TV game on ESPN.Thomas strained his groin late in the first half of Mondays loss to the Houston Rockets. He flew home to Boston early and received a platelet-rich plasma injection Wednesday. Thomas is hoping to travel with the team on a two-game road trip that starts Sunday in Oklahoma City, even as team decision-makers encourage him to take it slow in his recovery.I want to play but [team brass] keep telling me no, Thomas said. They keep wanting to be very patient with this because they dont want to reinjure it. Its an injury that can get reinjured and be a problem the rest of the season. So I dont want that. And on top of that, it gives me time to heal all the other injuries I have.Asked who might make the final determination about when he can return to action after hes medically cleared, Thomas suggested it was team president of basketball operations Danny Ainge.The big dog, Danny, hes really not in favor of [me] going [on the upcoming trip], but Im trying to convince him to just let me go, Thomas said. I think they -- if Im there, they know Im going to try to play. Im shooting for Wednesday for the most part. I think thats more realistic than Sunday. Hopefully I can play on Wednesday.Thomas is hopeful the plasma?injection will expedite his return and said Friday was one of the days where its felt its best.Stevens noted that a groin strain can typically sideline a player for 10-14 days, but believes Thomas will be back sooner.Weve talked about Isaiah being pretty ambitious in his return, said Stevens. And hes been getting treatment around the clock, so well see. Hell be officially listed as day-to-day.Added Stevens: Our medical staff is great. ... They feel like hes not looking long term. Its not going to be a long-term [injury], for sure. We have to make sure we dont bring him back [Friday] or too soon so that it doesnt become one.Wholesale New Balance Shoes .com) - Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Roger Federer were easy first-round winners Tuesday at the Australian Open. New Balance Sneakers Discount . Argentina winger Ezequiel Lavezzi and France midfielder Blaise Matuidi scored, with star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic setting up both despite having a poor game by his high standards. Forward Eduardo gave Ajaccio the lead in the sixth minute after being set up by right winger Benjamin Andre, and the Corsican side looked comfortable in the first half, with the lively Johan Cavalli causing problems with his probing runs from midfield. . Robredo, ranked No. 16, bounced back from an upset loss to Leonardo Mayer in the second round of the Royal Guard Open in Chil