Bean: With Warriors on tap, I finally miss Gordon Hayward

Bean: With Warriors on tap, I finally miss Gordon Hayward

Kyrie. KD. Steph. Goatford. Draymond. President Jaylen. 2018 NBA Finals MVP Jayson Tatum. So many stars will play Thursday night. 

Yet I’m thinking about Gordon Hayward. For the first time since the shock of his disgusting ankle injury wore off, I’m actually pissed the Celtics don’t have him. 

This, of course, is all about the Warriors game. Thursday night matches the best team in the East against the best team in the, well, world. Both teams will be on lengthy win streaks, and it will be impossible to pick who should be gunning for whom more: the hottest team in the league trying to beat the defending champions or the defending champions trying to shut up the NBA’s hot new thing. Either way, it doesn’t quite feel the same without the Celtics being able to throw absolutely everything they have at Golden State. 

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If that sounds like an excuse, it is. The Warriors didn’t cry about not having Kevin Durant when the Celtics beat them last year because the Warriors are the better team. Durant not being there was part of what made the game winnable for the Celtics. 

But if Golden State ekes out a 101-96 win Thursday night at the Garden? You bet your bippy I’ll be whining about Hayward. So should you. In fact, call up one of the radio shows and join the discussion about how sick the Celtics are going to be next year once they *do* have Hayward, because that conversation will for sure be happening. Adding a scorer who averages 20 points a night to a team that shows it can maybe hang with Golden State? Gahdamn. 

Make no mistake: The magic of this team has in large part been a direct result of Hayward’s absence. Tatum has been a starter and a terrific one at that. Kyrie has had to take over games late by himself. Maybe the latter still happens with Hayward on the floor, but the former certainly doesn’t, and next season’s team will be better for it. 

The immediate returns on Tatum, who would be coming off the bench if Hayward wasn’t lost for the season, have been terrific. The extent of his offensive growing pains have been minimal — really, it’s him not finishing as well at the rim as he probably will. Other than that? Stud city: 14 points a night, 50 percent from the field and 49 percent on threes. Also, dope at rebounding. God, Jayson Tatum rules. 

So, in the weirdest way, the argument could be made that Hayward’s absence has actually made the Celtics more exciting given that such production is coming from a 19-year-old. Yet nobody should mistake an outstanding start to the season as an indication that the Celtics are that much better than we thought they’d be. 

Their path is probably the same as it was: They’ll probably be the No. 1 seed in the East due to Cleveland’s various issues, they’ll reach the Eastern Conference finals and maybe even win. They won’t beat the Warriors in a seven-game series, just like they weren’t going to even if they had Hayward. 

But in a regular-season meeting in mid-November? Thursday will test just how good the NBA’s hottest team actually is. It should be a great game as is. But for a team that has found a way for every night for over a month now, the task of facing the league’s best might finally require Hayward, the player a lot of Celtics fans might not realize how much they miss. 

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No, you did not dream that Adam Duritz endorsed Jaylen Brown for Senate

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No, you did not dream that Adam Duritz endorsed Jaylen Brown for Senate

This has possibly been the greatest Celtics season ever. Yes, 17 of the team’s seasons have ended in NBA titles, but how many of them have had a wildly specific endorsement from Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz less than a quarter of the way in? 

One. This season. 

Duritz joined Lil B The BasedGod as celebrities to shout out C’s second-year forward Jaylen Brown this season when he tweeted the following from the band’s official account Sunday night: 

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This is a guy who doesn’t just hang out with anyone. He’s hung out with Courteney Cox before. Know where? On dates. Because he dated Courteney Cox. And Jennifer Aniston. He sang background vocals on “Sixth Avenue Heartache.” Hell, his performance made that track. 

And that’s not even mentioning Counting Crows. They might not be one of the five best bands of the 90s (OK, they definitely aren’t), but "August and Everything After" is a classic and they always retained the “I’ll check it out” status on everything they put out through the like 2004. You want to correct that and say, “Uh, you mean 2002? That’s when "Hard Candy" came out and they didn’t have another album that until 2008 and by then we were over it,” but you’re forgetting about “Accidentally in Love,” which was on one of the Shrek soundtracks and was an absolute bop. 

Brown quote-tweeted the tweet with a “WhyNot” hashtag and a shrugging emoji, leading to a predictable run of tweets from fans asking him to run for president. 

Now, the whole thing begs the question of how and why Adam Duritz became friends with a college freshman, which is answered by the fact that Duritz is a huge sports fan. Specifically, he loves the University of California at Berkeley, where Brown spent one season before turning pro.

Either way, Duritz' social history suggests he knows how to pick ‘em. Whatever Duritz has lacked in the ability to update his look over the years, he’s more than made up for in an ability to be friends with very cool people. Now Brown is in that group.

Blessed by Lil B. Endorsed for Senate by Adam Duritz. What a season. 

Patriots cut Geneo Grissom to make room for Martellus Bennett

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Patriots cut Geneo Grissom to make room for Martellus Bennett

The Patriots have made a corresponding move to make room for Martellus Bennett. It probably isn't what you think. 

OK, it's exactly what you think because you and I both know you read the headline. Don't be smug. 

Anyway, they didn't cut Dwayne Allen. They cut Geneo Grissom. 

A third-round pick of the Pats in 2015, Grissom has now been waived for a second time this season. He was originally released in September and put on the practice squad before being promoted back to the 53-man roster on Sept. 22.