King: Have Brad Stevens & Celtics Mismanaged Gordon Hayward Situation?

The Athletic's Jay King Joins the Good N' Plenty podcast to discuss the Celtics "Gordon Hayward problem."

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The Celtics have problems. Too many to count. And the team hasn’t been shy about airing it’s dirty laundry in public.

Chemistry concerns, selfish play, immaturity, not having fun. It’s all out there.

But according to the Athletic’s Jay King, there is one issue that isn’t getting talked about which could be causing some legitimate internal strife.

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“The other dynamic which I think is a huge deal is Gordon Hayward hasn’t been right from the start from the start of the season,” King told Jeff Goodman on the Good N’ Plenty Podcast on CLNS Media.

King believes the Celtics mishandled the entire Hayward situation before the season even got started.

“He (Hayward) was starting early on,” said King. “That starting lineup was a disaster with him in it. He still isn’t the same. The Celtics kind of hyped him up to be back to where he was during the offseason and it was very evident early on that he wasn’t.

“I do think that’s one of the things I would pin on Brad [Stevens] and the coaching staff. It’s that they created expectations way too high for Hayward and they acted like he was going to come right back (from the gruesome injury he suffered over a year ago) and be the All-Star he was, and by doing that when he wasn’t some people in the public got antsy. Maybe to convince Gordon they acted like he was 100% healthy and he hasn’t even been close.”

King notes that Hayward has especially not played well in some of the Celtics biggest games. Yet despite the struggles, he still gets significant playing time.

“If I were a younger guy – and none of them are going to admit to this – I’d be frustrated that he gets crunch time minutes a lot. That he still plays a lot,” King told Goodman.

“Jaylen Brown for example who’s played really well the past couple of months after a very bad start he’s gotta look out there and say, ‘Why is Gordon getting crunch time minutes? Why aren’t I getting crunch time minutes?’


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