‘Old G’ is rounding back into form

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Post by bobheckler on Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:24 pm


Celtics notes: ‘Old G’ is rounding back into form

By Scott Souza, @Scott_Souza
Posted Jan 4, 2019 at 8:31 PM
Updated Jan 4, 2019 at 9:25 PM

BOSTON — Gordon Hayward has shown some bright flashes through the first three months of the season of being the player he referred to as “Old G” earlier in the year.

The main objective now for the ninth-year forward is to turn those flashes into more frequent occurrences as he moves closer to being a year and a half removed from last season’s catastrophic leg and ankle injury.

That means following up efforts like his 35-point onslaught against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday with a series of solid outputs instead of having nights like those be outliers in an otherwise quiet stretch.

“I didn’t really overreact to the 35-point part of it,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said prior to Friday night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks at TD Garden, “because there’s been games where he’s played great and just had less attempts. He makes the right play over and over.

“It’s good to see the shots go down. But I think it’s helped when you get to the rim and get some easy ones.”

It clearly helps Hayward’s confidence as he continues to fight through the mental barriers of his comeback. He battled one of those Monday, when he went scoreless on 0-for-6 shooting in 22 minutes of a loss in San Antonio, but overcame it despite missing his first two shots Wednesday.

“As a younger NBA player,” he said, “if I missed the first couple of shots it probably wasn’t going to be a good game. Credit to my teammates for getting me open looks. That kind of gets you going seeing the ball go through the hoop.

“It gives you a little bit of confidence getting stuff in transition, easy ones, to get yourself going. That stuff always feels good.”

Hayward followed his first 30-point game of the season Dec. 1 with 13 points on 4-of-15 shooting over the next two contests. He then hit double figures in three of the next four games before failing to do so in four of his following five, culminating with the dud against the Spurs.

“As the season has gone on my movement has gotten better,” he said after his latest breakthrough. “I think there are still so many things to work on. In two games, night and day. Consistency is going to be huge to not necessarily have games like this all the time, but games where I’m aggressive, and attack, as opposed to being passive.”

Stevens has said throughout the season that Hayward needs to be the “jack of all trades” for the Celtics this season and that his contribution goes beyond simply his point production.

“Our deal is always to make the right basketball play,” the coach reiterated Friday night. “I think sometimes you have people who enter the game and say that you have to get this person involved, or that person. We just want to make the right play.

“If the right play is to score, score. If the right play is to pass, pass. Then when everything opens up, you’ve got to read it.”

Likely back soon

Kyrie Irving was at TD Garden for Friday’s game after staying away from the bench Wednesday with eye inflammation from the shot he took at the hands of Marco Belinelli late in Monday’s loss. While he was held out for the second straight game, his return could be imminent.

“He’s felt better every day,” Stevens said. “When he went to the doctor (Thursday) his eye was still too inflamed (to play Friday). But he was able to do a light workout (Thursday).

“We’ll see what happens after (Friday) but I would assume he will be able to play in the near future.”

Morris sits out

Marcus Morris missed the game with a sore neck suffered when he crashed to the parquet near the Boston bench on a play in the second half of Wednesday’s victory. Stevens said Morris was “pretty stiff still” Friday night.

Jaylen Brown replaced Morris in the starting lineup, while Terry Rozier drew the start for Irving for the second straight game.

Williams coming along

Stevens said rookie Robert Williams had imaging done on the groin injury that kept him out for a fifth straight game and that “it looks way better.” He added the Williams should be “around the corner” from returning to the court.



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Post by dboss on Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:25 pm

Interesting that Marcus Morris and his brother both have neck injuries.


GH plays with a real ease.  Whatever questions fans may have about his full recovery may be answered this year.  But if he is not able to become that special player this season, I can understand that.  He has been playing between two different forms.  One where he looks stiff and the other were his fluidity is on full display.  He has put up a few solid games lately where the fluidity is more apparent therefore can we declare that he will be just fine?

He actually needs to look for his shot more like he has the past two games.  Let it fly  Gordon.

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Post by NYCelt on Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:38 pm

If Hayward can at least get to the point where he can contribute an average dozen or so points while leading the second unit, that's a huge plus. Coming off the injury he had, that's a big step forward in one year.

Getting Kyrie back on the court would be significant heading toward the half-way mark. And having a healthy Williams to bolster the banged up center spot could be critical if we want to catch up to Philly.

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Post by cowens/oldschool on Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:10 am

Brown, Tatum, GH and Rozier if those guys can get a little better and more consistent, we will be a load, then getting Baynes back in his role and get Williams going, get all our depth functioning and sharing the ball and playing well and fast both ends....we should be fine come playoff time.

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