Celtics

Why Gordon Hayward might miss time with Celtics after entering NBA's Orlando bubble

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Why Gordon Hayward might miss time with Celtics after entering NBA's Orlando bubble

Gordon Hayward and his wife Robyn have three children with a fourth on the way in September. 

Hayward said he has been at the birth of the first three. 

And he’ll be there for the birth of child No. 4 even as the Celtics start gearing up for the restart to the NBA season that will have Hayward and the rest of his teammates in Orlando, Fla. potentially into the month of October. 

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Hayward, in a conference call with reporters on Friday, said he will leave the bubble in Orlando to be with his wife to welcome their first son into the world. 

Having spent the past three months almost exclusively with his wife and three daughters, Hayward acknowledged he’ll miss not being around them when he’s sequestered in Orlando along with his teammates. 

A number of NBA players gave serious consideration to not returning to play for health concerns amid the coronavirus, or to continue amplifying the conversations about racism sparked by the death of George Floyd. 

“For a lot of people in the NBA, it’s a difficult decision,” Hayward said of returning to complete the season which was suspended on March 12. “To compete for a championship, compete for a title … we want to finish something we worked hard for all year.”

And for the Celtics to be among the last teams standing, they will need Hayward to continue building off of a season in which he was as close to being “All-Star” Gordon as we’ve seen since coming to Boston. 

Hayward averaged 17.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game this season while shooting 50.2 percent from the field and 39.2 percent from 3-point range. 

And now there’s a chance that the Celtics will be without Hayward for some portion of the postseason due to the birth of his fourth child. 

As important as Hayward's presence and play may be to Celtics fans and to his teammates, this global pandemic that we are still in the midst of has taught many lessons about what really matters most. 

Some within our society don’t get it. 

Glad to see Hayward isn’t one of them by making it 100 percent clear where he stands by prioritizing what matters most in the grand scheme of things — family. 

Is Jaylen Brown the NBA's best shooting guard? Kendrick Perkins makes case

Is Jaylen Brown the NBA's best shooting guard? Kendrick Perkins makes case

Jaylen Brown didn't make the All-Star team this year, and you likely won't find him on a 2020 All-NBA squad.

But if you ask Kendrick Perkins, the voters should re-evaluate their choices.

After Brown dropped 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting and played impressive defense against Raptors star Pascal Siakam in the Boston Celtics' 122-100 dismantling of Toronto on Friday night, Perkins went on NBC Sports Boston's "Celtics Postgame Live" to drop a spicy take.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Magic, which begins Sunday at 4 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 5 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

"Jaylen Brown, to me, is the best all-around shooting guard in the league," Perkins said. "Pure point blank."

Brown is enjoying a career season, averaging 20.6 points on 48.8 percent shooting with 6.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game while continuing to play elite defense. The 23-year-old has been particularly hot of late, scoring 20 or more points in nine of Boston's last 10 games.

But is Perkins saying Brown is the best shooting guard in the NBA -- better than All-Stars like Bradley Beal and Devin Booker, not to mention MVP finalist James Harden?

Here's Perk's explanation:

He don't search for shots. He's not a high-volume scorer. But when you look up at the end of the night, he's got his 20 points on over 50 percent shooting. And he locks up the best guy every single night. You can't find that. And his playmaking is underrated. He's got a very high (basketball) IQ.

There are better scorers at the position -- including Harden, the NBA's most prolific scorer -- but you could argue Brown has become one of the league's strongest two-way shooting guards.

And Perkins very much would like to make that argument.

Perkins might take heat for declaring Brown the cream of the shooting guard crop, but his bold take shouldn't distract from the fact that the fourth-year wing is becoming an elite NBA player before our eyes.

Report: 76ers star Ben Simmons to leave NBA bubble for knee surgery

Report: 76ers star Ben Simmons to leave NBA bubble for knee surgery

Is the Philadelphia 76ers' worst-case scenario playing out?

All-Star guard Ben Simmons will leave the NBA bubble to undergo surgery on his left knee, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Saturday.

The procedure will "remove a loose body" from Simmons' knee, per Charania. The timetable for his recovery is unclear, but ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski suggested he'll at least miss the first round or two of the NBA playoffs.

Simmons injured his knee Wednesday during Philly's win over the Washington Wizards and was diagnosed with a subluxation of his left patella, or kneecap.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Magic, which begins Sunday at 4 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 5 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

His injury obviously has massive implications for the Sixers and the rest of the Eastern Conference -- particularly the Boston Celtics, who would match up with Philly in the first round if the season ended today.

Boston currently is the No. 3 seed in the East, while the Sixers are the No. 6 seed but have the same record as the No. 5 Indiana Pacers with four seeding games remaining.

Simmons is averaging 16.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, eight assists and a league-high 2.1 steals for Philly and is the team's best player outside big man Joel Embiid. His absence changes the entire dynamic of Philly's offense and makes the Sixers a much less formidable playoff opponent.