If last night’s win over the Heat was an indicator of anything, it was that the Celtics really need to learn how to close out games and Gordon Hayward is almost back to his old self.
No, I do not mean his old, OLD self. Rest assured he is still hot.
What I mean, of course, is that he is getting back to his old basketball ways. Ever since his ankle went perpendicular to the rest of his body, Hayward has always seemed just a little timid. Injuries as traumatic as that are going to mess with your head for a little bit. I know exactly where he is coming from too. I once twisted my ankle playing volleyball and I haven’t worked out in 4 years because of it. Those things are definitely comparable right?
We knew this was going to be a long road for Gahdon to make a full recovery. My expectations have never been lower for any Celtics player not named Shane Larkin. We saw some moments of greatness though. Dropping 30 then 35 on the Timberwolves, then another 30 on the Warriors, even a near triple-double on the Mavs.
But I would not accept that he was fully back until I saw some real consistency. And I think that we are seeing the beginning stages of Gordon Hayward’s full recovery. In his last five games, Hayward has scored 10+ points. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but this is the first time as a Celtic that he has scored double digits in five straight games. And, off the bench no less.
A fully healthy Gordon Hayward will make Boston the scariest team in the East. And with the Warriors falling apart, next season may be the Celtics and Hayward’s chance at a return to greatness.