Celtics

Is load management in Gordon Hayward's future?

Is load management in Gordon Hayward's future?

TORONTO -- Only Daniel Theis played fewer minutes than Gordon Hayward among the Boston Celtics’ starters in the team’s 118-102 Christmas Day win over Toronto.

Chances are pretty good that Hayward will continue looking up to at least a couple of fellow starters when it comes to minutes played. 

That’s because the nerve-related foot ailment that sidelined him for three games prior to returning on Christmas Day, is going to need to be managed for the immediate future according to Hayward. 

“It’s still a little sore, but it’s playable,” Hayward said after the win. “So, it’s good; it’s good.”

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Hayward was then asked if the injury will need to be managed going forward this season.

“It’ll have to be managed,” Hayward said. “Nerves take a while to calm down, from what I’ve been told. So we’re trying not to irritate it and manage it, keep it moving.”

I asked him if that management he speaks of involves his playing time being within a certain range. 

“I don’t think so,” he said. “It’s more, just trying to make sure it doesn’t get irritated as much and just trying to continue calming it down. Some of that is medicine-related, topical creams, different things, just different treatments we’re trying to do.”

Keeping a relatively healthy Hayward in the mix is critical to Boston’s success going forward. 

One of the strengths of the Celtics all season has been their speed, athleticism and versatility at the wing position. 

Having Hayward around only strengthens what is a clear and undeniable strength of this Celtics roster when you consider the impact made by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown on a night-in, night-out basis, not to mention the contributions they have received this year from Marcus Smart who is currently out because of an eye infection.

Hayward is another multi-positional wing in the 6-6 to 6-9 range that serves a multitude of purposes for Boston at both ends of the floor. 

“The key is to let the game dictate,” said Boston’s Jaylen Brown. “I think we’re all capable of doing multiple things, we’re all interchangeable so I think that’s what makes us hard to guard. We can all interchange in terms of coming off the ball, screens or someone cutting or someone in the corner. That’s what makes us dangerous. As we get better, I think that rhythm and the flow as we continue to be in multiple spots, makes it harder to guard different guys in different spots.”

That group includes Hayward whose left foot will continue to be monitored closely by the Celtics, all aware of just how important he is to the team’s chances at success regardless of how much - or little - he plays going forward. 

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Cavaliers, which tips off Friday at 3:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike and Tommy have the call at 4 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

2020 NBA Mock Draft 3.0: No clear-cut choice at No. 1

2020 NBA Mock Draft 3.0: No clear-cut choice at No. 1

BOSTON -- With about six weeks of NBA games left to play, there’s a heightened level of uncertainty as to who will be the No. 1 overall pick. 

There is no Zion Williamson in this year’s draft; that is, a player who would be the top pick regardless of who is on the clock. 

This is a draft where the top picks are going to address specific team needs as opposed to most drafts where the value of the early selections is how they enhance a team's overall talent. 

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

And just like there’s no clear-cut No. 1 pick, there’s going to be quite a bit of jockeying among NBA teams as far as who will have the best shot at landing one of the top picks. 

That said, here’s the current draft order based on records and the player those respective teams are likely to select. 

Click here for A. Sherrod Blakely's 2020 Mock NBA Draft 3.0.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Rockets-Celtics, which begins Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.

How Tremont Waters fared for Maine Red Claws vs. Lakeland Magic

How Tremont Waters fared for Maine Red Claws vs. Lakeland Magic

With Tacko Fall out due to a toe injury, Tremont Waters was the center of attention for the Maine Red Claws on Thursday night.

Unfortunately for Maine, Waters was unable to propel them to victory as they fell to the Lakeland Magic, 106-103.

It was a rather inefficient day for Waters, as the Boston Celtics rookie had 14 points on 5-for-17 shooting to go along with 11 turnovers.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

He did provide a few nice highlights, though, which you can watch below:

With Waters struggling, it was Bryce Brown leading the way for the Red Claws with 27 points and 5 rebounds.

Waters and the Red Claws will look to bounce back Saturday at 7 p.m. with a home matchup against the Erie Bayhawks.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Rockets-Celtics, which begins Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.