After recovering from a gruesome ankle injury in 2017, and not playing up to his potential this season, Gordon Hayward is starting to flash some promising numbers as the Celtics gear up for the playoffs.
The Celtics, after last night's 112-102 win against the Miami Heat, are now undefeated (5-0) on the season when Gordon Hayward (25 points) reaches the 20 point mark.
Further, Gordon Hayward's 12 free throws against Miami are the most off the bench for a Celtics player since Ricky Davis in 2005, and Marcus Banks in 2004.
It's also the first 20/20/20 (points/rebounds/assists) game for Kyrie, Hayward, and Al Horford.
Kyrie Irving had some kind words for his teammate, pointing out Hayward's aggression when driving to the basket:
More Kyrie on Hayward: “We’re best when he’s looking for his shot. He’s a great facilitator. But we need G to score. I told him that, and I’m going to keep telling him to stay aggressive and be him and really be that 20-point scorer that he was.”— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) April 4, 2019
This has been something that's been difficult for Hayward this season, who attributed his decreased level of play to scattered confidence following his injury.
The Celtics, after not exactly playing up to their potential this season, if last night was any indication, are hopefully rounding into form with the NBA playoffs set to begin on April 13th.
There has been talk of "flipping the switch" all season for the Celtics, a notion that C's President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge doesn't subscribe to.
If Hayward can continue to play at a high level, and put his struggles in the rear view mirror, the Celtics might be able to do just that.
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