Gordon Hayward is Back, and That is Bad News for the Rest of the Leagueby Kyle Porch September 23, 2020 0 comments
With The Boston Celtics down 2-0 in the series, Gordon Hayward provided the spark to get over the hump in Game 3. That’s bad news for the Miami Heat.
What the Celtics were Missing
The Celtics could’ve easily been up 3-0 in the series. They just needed a player who can cut, score, and spread the floor. With Hayward, they easily beat the zone defense and created so many shots in the game 3 win. While the team struggled closing it out, it will be easier to grind out the win with another 18-point scorer. It was revealed shortly before tipoff that Hayward would remain with the team while expecting his first son in the coming weeks.
While the box score revealed only six points, five rebounds, and four assists, having another wing to guard and focus on proved too much for Jimmy Butler and the Heat. During a postgame interview, he said, “I just tried to impact our team in winning ways, whatever I can do. The first five minutes I was gassed. I was extremely tired. Just trying to help us offensively, somebody that can get in the paint, create, rebound, also help us trying to bring the ball up. I think if we can run, they can’t set their defense.” While the stats don’t show how well he did in game 3, the Celtics and the Heat have put Hayward on notice.
Comments on Hayward’s Game
Head coach Brad Stevens had this to say about Hayward’s first game back, “It was one of those deals where he looked pretty good the whole time and he asked to be taken out a few times. But I thought for the most part he looked pretty good. That now is a good thing because he knows he can do that. And it’s good that we had this little break in between.”
He helps soften the offensive load for Kemba Walker (who has had his struggles in this postseason run), Jayson Tatum (who has been an iso nightmare this entire postseason), and Marcus Smart (who has surprisingly been efficient). The bench has also played in some key minutes with different rotations thus far: Robert Williams, Brad Wanamaker, and Grant Williams in particular.
Hayward gives the Celtics heart and hustle. With their early leads, this team can wipe the floor with the Heat, and push forward to the NBA Finals. A healthy Celtics team has been a rare, but unstoppable force before the bubble started this season. This lineup can go shot for shot with any team in the NBA. Their dynamic offense, as well as a top defense in the bubble will give any head coach (Spolestera, Vogel, and Malone) more headaches in a seven-game series than they can handle.
While the team will be focused on tying the series on Wednesday night, the Celtics have regained the momentum needed to push past the young Heat team and bolster themselves into the NBA Finals.
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