NEW YORK -- Celtics coach Brad Stevens offered more encouraging news on Gordon Hayward's recovery.
The 6-foot-8 Hayward continues to heal after fracturing a bone in his left hand Nov. 9 in a game in San Antonio.
“He’s able to run up and down the court. He’s able to do non-contact drills and he’ll have another meeting on Monday over FaceTime with his doctor to look at the healing process and discuss what’s next,” Stevens said after practice on Saturday ahead of the game Sunday afternoon against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
In recent days, Hayward has clearly ratcheted up his on-the-floor workload with the goal being able to maintain, as best he can, the good rhythm he was in prior to the injury, as well as strengthen his injured hand.
I asked Hayward prior to the 112-107 loss at Brooklyn on Friday about where he thought he was in his recovery. He said he thought he was ahead of schedule but added, “It’s hard to say with these type of things what the timeline is. But I feel good.”
And the Celtics feel good about the progress he has made, but remain cautiously optimistic about when he will be back on the floor.
Hayward had surgery on his hand a few days after the injury and it's expected to keep him out until shortly before Boston travels to Toronto for a Christmas Day game against the Raptors.
To see him on the floor, doing a lot of things he did prior to the injury, is indeed encouraging for Stevens and the Celtics even as they await him receiving clearance to resume playing.
“It is what it is,” Stevens said. “We knew it was gonna be a while before he would be back. It’s good to have him [around].”
Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Knicks, which tips off Sunday at 3 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call at 3:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.
The Maine Red Claws were in action at home at the Portland Expo Center on Saturday night hosting the Delaware Blue Coats, taking a 128-123 loss to fall to 7-4 and fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
Tacko Fall wasn’t in action, but Bryce Brown was simply furious, leading all scorers with 43 points 15 of 17 from the floor overall and a franchise single-game record 11 of 11 three-pointers. Tremont Waters was terrific, too, with 18 points and 11 assists.
Brown, an undrafted free agent who helped lead Auburn to its first Final Four appearance last spring, was simply unconscious for the Claws. He shot a perfect 11 of 11 from three-point range to give him an absurd effective field goal percentage of 1.2 for the game.
Waters, the Connecticut native, was crafty in his distribution, with just four turnovers to go with his 11 assists.
Yante Maten (18 points), Vincent Poirier (18) and Justin Bibbs (10) also scored in double-figures for the Red Claws.
The Red Claws return to action Friday in Des Moines, Iowa to face the Iowa Wolves, with tipoff at 8 p.m. ET.
Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Cavaliers, which tips off Monday at 6:30 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 7:30 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.
Anytime is a good time to watch highlights of the greatness that was Larry Bird playing for the Celtics.
But on Larry Legend's 63rd birthday? It's time to break out the best of No. 33...
The fight with Dr. J in 1984:
The 60-point game against the Hawks in '85:
The steal against Isiah Thomas and the Pistons in '87:
The "you are watching was greatness is all about" duel with Dominique Wilkins in '88:
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Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Cavaliers, which tips off Monday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Tommy & Mike have the call at 7:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.