With all of the hype around the Boston Celtics with incoming star point guard Kemba Walker, big man Enes Kanter, and the Rookies, we may have forgotten another key piece to the Celtics roster – Gordon Hayward
For many fans this has been a crazy off season! The Boston Celtics lost Kyrie Irving and Al Horford, and picked up star point guard Kemba Walker and big man Enes Kanter. They also now have a new rookie core who was one game from going to the Summer League Championship. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have been working on their game. There was even a Semi Ojeleye sighting! And with all of this hustle and bustle fans forgot about one of the most important acquisitions of Celtics free agency, Gordon Hayward.
Last season’s woes
Last season was probably more difficult for Gordon than anyone. Coming off a devastating injury game one of the 2017 season, Gordon spent a full year rehabbing at his home out west, while watching the Celtics progress all of the way to the East Conference Finals. Although he was encouraging and cheering his team on from the sidelines, you could see how much he wanted to be out there with his team. Fans and media alike poured over the videos of his shooting from a chair, walking in a an air cast, and finally taking team pictures in sneakers getting hyped for his return.
Then he suffered another setback and had to have a second surgery preventing him from being able to do a another full rehab and get in 5-on-5 repetitions. As the Celtics rolled into training camp and preseason, it was apparent that Hayward was still a few steps slow.
The hope was by game 1 Gordon would be game ready, unfortunately expectations and reality never came to fruition for Gordon this season. He struggled on the court with his shot, with his defense and with his mental toughness. It was obvious he was working himself back into form and becoming frustrated with his lack of production.
There were times, however, during the mid-season fans saw glimpses of All Star Gordon. Most notably was his 30 point, 9 rebounds, and 8 assist game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in December, 2018. Celtics Nation cheered this was the moment that Gordon had turned the corner. (Courtesy @TIMI_093)
Despite struggles to the end of the season, Hayward had an impressive showing against the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the Playoffs. Hayward had the ability to be a triple threat on match ups, due to when he was aggressive to the basket, making quick passing decisions, and taking perimeter shots.
New season – new Gordon
The off season has quietly rolled by and Hayward stayed in Boston this time to work on his game. This is his first full summer since his injury 2 years ago that he was able to really play and do his workouts. “Been here in Boston all summer,” Hayward said, per NBC Sports Boston’s A. Sherrod Blakely. “Made the decision to be in the facility and work with the staff. My leg feels amazing. The summers here in Boston are beautiful, so my family and I have had a great time. … My leg feels good, so that’s a positive.”
Hayward on his summer: “Back to no restrictions, so that’s been really nice.”
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) August 20, 2019
The Boston Celtics need a healthy Gordon Hayward to hit the court this season. It sounds like they are are about to get him. Despite his struggles last season, he obviously has moved on and is ready to prove to Celtics fans that All Star Gordon does exist.
The expectation for all of us in the 2019-2020 is to see postseason first round Hayward. Not afraid to attack the paint in order to get the extra point at the charity stripe. Being a true threat in the perimeter but also being able to be a play maker and showcasing his ability to manage the quick pass to an open man. This season is about Gordon showing the confidence not only in his rehabbed ankle but himself. And realizing that this Celtics team can go far with him
It’s about to get crazy, G…
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