Welcome back to year 2 of the Clover Report. If you guys remember, I started it last year and it’s a weekly recap of all the games the Celtics play that week. So the season started this week which means it’s time to recap. Unfortunately, the season got off to a shitty start to say the least. Opening night was the long awaited matchup between the Cavs and Celtics with Kyrie Irving making his return to Cleveland. It was going to be one of the most anticipated games ever and then, tragedy happened.
Along with Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward made his Celtics’ debut on Tuesday. The crowd was into it and the energy was through the roof. But 5 minutes into the game, Gordon Hayward went up for an alley-oop; came down and broke his ankle. It was nothing I have ever seen in my life. I’ve seen other gruesome injuries but never in real time like that. Players gathered around Hayward and he was carried off the court in a stretcher. Somehow the game had to go on and it did. The Cavs got out to a large lead in the 1st half and it appeared that the game was over. But the Celtics rallied in the 2nd half and actually took the league in the final quarter. But LeBron was too much and the Cavs won 102—99. Kyrie Irving scored 22 and dished out 10 assists in his Celtics debut and Jaylen Brown scored a career high 25 points. But that all seemed unimportant compared to Hayward.
Before the home opener, the Celtics played a video tribute (below) from Gordon Hayward himself at the hospital. This took place hours before Hayward went into surgery. Marcus Smart started in place for Hayward to go along with Irving, Brown, Tatum, and Al Horford. The loss of Hayward was felt badly as the Celtics struggled from the floor, the 3, and even from the line. Irving only shot 7 of 25 as he hounded all night. Jaylen Brown did well again as he dropped 18 points. But it wasn’t enough as Giannis Antetokounmpo played out of his mind (37 points and 13 rebounds) and the Bucks won 108—100. The Celtics dropped to 0-2.
So I’m not going to sugar coat it, this is an utter disaster. The Celtics are done as title contenders if they were ever considered to be one. This is now a bridge year and I want Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to play at least 30 minutes a game. Also this talk of Hayward coming back later in the year is absolutely asinine. HIS FUCKING FOOT WAS TURNED THE WRONG WAY. He’s going to need time (at least a year) to recover physically and mentally from this terrible injury. Hayward is not coming back. It’s going to be a long season for the Celtics and it sucks it started off like this.
Written By: Steven Santoro (SVS_1993)