Yesterday was the start of the NBA preseason, as one of the games was between the Boston Celtics and the Charlotte Hornets which also happened to be Gordon Hayward’s first game back since his horrific injury during their opening regular season game last season.
Naturally, there was some rust. Hayward finished with 10 points on 2-of-7 shooting, three rebounds, one assist and a block. and played about 23 minutes of action.
When asked about his performance, he seemed happy to be back on the court playing again but also recognizes that he still not where he wants to be in terms of his overall performance.
“The one cut to the rim, I usually would have dunked that one. Tried to go up off my leg and just didn’t have it, I guess,” Hayward said. “So, that stuff I think will come back, that little explosion. I’m certain of that. … It was just the speed of the game, just the crowd, that’s something I need to get used to again.”
“I’ve been through a lot this past year, so just to be out there in front of the fans, playing with my teammates, there were moments that I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do that,” Hayward said. “So, that was definitely a win.”
For the Celtics, this is a welcome development considering where Hayward was just a year ago. It’s fair to assume that Hayward won’t be completely back to his old self until maybe around the middle of the season, but the Celtics can afford to be patient as they have a lot of wing players who can share the minute-load with Hayward in Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Terry Rozier who showed last season they can produce.
“I don’t think I was playing my best basketball,” Gordon Hayward jokes of his first game back, “but I was having fun out there with the guys.” pic.twitter.com/sYSCM7eBjB
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) 29. rujna 2018.