Gordon Hayward has not lived up to his contract. Could you really blame him though? His first night with the Boston Celtics his ankle made a 45 degree turn on a nasty fall. Some people would never be able to come back from an injury that serious. But that’s some people. Not Gordon Hayward.
Despite dealing with that adversity, Hayward came back this season to play 71 games. Granted he has not been the same player he was with the Utah Jazz over the course of the year, but as of late he is looking more and more like that player of the past.
The three games that Hayward has played in in April, he has averaged 19 points and 5 rebounds a game while shooting at a .692 / .500 / .944 clip. I know it is stupid to judge on a three game sample size, but ever since December Hayward has improved his shooting percentage each month. He has become a more important part of Boston’s offense that apposing teams will have to account for. That is totally different from the start of the season where that anonymous Warriors player said Hayward was a, “liability” on both ends of the floor.
Hayward’s offensive burst has also become even more important with Marcus Morris cooling off from his start to the season. If the Celtics did not have the aggressiveness of Hayward right now, they would really only have two legitimate scoring threats in Jayson Tatum and Kyrie Irving.
It is great for basketball to see Hayward’s progression throughout the year. No one wishes that type of injury on anyone, not even their worst enemy. So as Hayward continues to get better and better, he will become an even bigger part of this Celtics team as they try for banner 18.
-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)