Gordon Hayward WAS back. His shot was falling, he was explosive cutting and driving to the basket, he was controlling the offense. Mainly, his swagger/his confidence was back.
Unfortunately, all of that came to a screeching halt Saturday night in San Antonio in a win against the Spurs when Hayward collided with LaMarcus Aldridge.
“It took so long to get back to this, where I thought he was playing as well as he did when he was an all star in Utah,” said Jeff Goodman. “I saw a different level of swagger in just the body language. The decision making was even crisper.”
Gordon’s first eight games were the best of his short Celtics career. I could put the numbers here but I think anyone of you could tell he’s never looked more comfortable.
So what to do now?
Hayward Out? Next Man Up…
The easy solution to who starts in his place is Marcus Smart. I thought Smart would start the year anyway. However, thanks to Jaylen Brown’s sickness and now Hayward’s hand injury Boston gets a chance to start the unicorn next to Kemba Walker.
In terms of filling in on the wing based on Brad Stevens’ rotations early on I think Javonte Green is going to get a shot. Lately, it seems Stevens prefers going to Green over Semi Ojeleye. Green has played 26 minutes the last two games and has 18 points to show for it. I would assume Coach Stevens prefers his speed and athleticism in the open floor.
On this week’s Celtics Beat Jeff Goodman predicted that Carsen Edwards is the most likely offensive replacement. Only problem there is Edwards’ consistency. Maybe some consistency off the bench could result in more made shots.
Make sure you subscribe to Celtics Beat on iTunes and Stitcher! And make sure you follow Adam on Twitter here!
3:37 Hope Hayward can remain aggressive when he comes back
11:04 Jaylen needs to be more consistent
14:01 Don’t count on Langford, Green to pick up the slack
20:02 Celtics are absolutely a threat to win the East
27:34 Load management