Before the 2019-20 season got suspended in March, the Boston Celtics were in third place in the Eastern Conference standings with a stellar 43-21 record. Brad Stevens’ group looked primed to go on a deep playoff run after failing to meet expectations in 2018-19.
The Celtics will be among the 22 teams competing in the resumption of the season at Walt Disney World. A few Boston players have already been back at the practice facility working on their games, but the expectation is that pretty much every player at Disney World is going to be rusty.
The NBA hiatus, though, did allow three important Celtics players to get some much-needed rest.
3. Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker was dealing with a nagging left knee injury before games were suspended. The time off certainly helped Walker with his recovery and, perhaps, he won’t have any restrictions when the bubble games at Disney World take place.
In his first year with the Celtics, Walker has been magnificent. He’s averaging 21.2 points, 4.1 boards and 4.9 assists while shooting 42.1 percent from the field, 37.7 percent from beyond the arc and 86.7 percent from the free-throw line.
2. Jaylen Brown
Like Walker, Jaylen Brown was suffering from an ailment prior to Rudy Gobert’s positive COVID-19 test. The swingman had a right hamstring injury, so the hiatus has allowed Brown to rest his lower body and recover.
Brown’s trainer said the Celtics’ rising star is in great shape and won’t miss a beat once the season resumes. Brown is averaging 20.4 points, 6.4 boards and 2.2 assists for the Cs.
1. Gordon Hayward
Gordon Hayward has been injury-prone ever since he signed with the Celtics in the summer of 2017. The forward underwent hand surgery this 2019-20 season and only appeared in 45 games for Boston before games were suspended.
The hiatus provided Hayward an opportunity to just stay off his feet and rest. He’s been playing catch-up ever since that gruesome leg injury he suffered on opening night in 2017.
Prior to the suspension of the season, Hayward was averaging 17.3 points, his best output with the Celtics. For Boston to win the 2020 NBA title, the team needs Hayward to be the guy who used to star for the Utah Jazz.