In their Saturday night victory against the San Antonio Spurs, the Boston Celtics lost a key part of their rotation. Superstar Gordon Hayward suffered yet another injury, breaking his left hand in the first half of their 135-115 win.
Hayward had started the 2019 campaign off with a bang. He was an integral part in leading the C’s to their 7-1 record. In those eight games, Hayward averaged 18.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. He did all that shooting 56% from the field, 43% behind the arc, and turning the ball over less than two times per game. Now he is slated to miss close to two months after undergoing surgery today.
NBA – 140 Points, 50 Rebounds, 30 Assists
NBA – 140 Points, 50 Rebounds, 30 Assists, >15 turnovers
…and no one else.
— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) November 8, 2019
Obviously with Hayward’s injury Celtics fans go into a panic over how they will fair the rest of the season: I am here to tell you not to worry.
Yes it sucks and Hayward was looking like he reverted back to the player he was before his time in Boston, but the Celtics will be just fine without him. Boston has Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown; all three are competent players that can pick up the scoring Hayward’s injury leaves behind. That is especially true considering Brown has missed three games this season due to an illness.
Hayward will undoubtedly be missed to some capacity, but under Brad Stevens it has been seen over and over: players step up when injuries happen.
You can go back to last year with Marcus Smart missing time, or two years ago when Kyrie Irving missed their playoff run. Even on Saturday when Hayward went out, Jaylen Brown finished the game with 30 points!
Young players like Tatum, Brown and former Celtic Terry Rozier all played great when it was their time to perform. It remains to be seen if the “new young guys” like Grant Williams and Carsen Edwards can do that, but it’s hard not to have that belief after seeing what has happened in the past under Stevens.
The Eastern Conference is not strong and the Celtics are a playoff team even without Gordon Hayward on the court. They have plenty of talent to stay afloat without him.
Hayward will also be back this season. This is not the same type of injury that requires him to relearn how to walk like the ankle injury he suffered a couple years ago. This is an injury to his non-shooting hand. He should be ready to roll once he gets back as the Celtics look to make it to the NBA Finals once again.
-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)