Celtics’ Brad Stevens optimistic about Gordon Hayward, says he’s confident and stronger this year
Gordon Hayward took an entire year to recover from the gruesome injury he suffered in the 2017-18 season. However, it seems like the wait was worth it as Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens believes that the small forward they signed to a lucrative contract has finally returned to form.
Keith Smith took a bit of the Celtics head coach’s time to talk about the condition of the 29-year-old, and the former Butler coach has good words to say about his forward.
I asked Brad Stevens about Gordon Hayward and how he looks: "I thought at the end of the season he was moving pretty well. But he spent a whole summer strengthening. I think he feels confident. He's improved, as they all have."
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) October 12, 2019
If Hayward is slowly regaining his confidence, then there’s a chance that he’ll revert back to the 22-point scorer that the Celtics hoped they were getting. Since Kyrie has left the team this summer, it’s become important for a player to step up and take over his scoring duties. Hayward may become the perfect candidate if he fully recovers from the injury.
Stevens isn’t the only one impressed with the way he’s been developing over the summer. Danny Ainge is happy that he’s back to his playing form after the long season he had to endure. He told Celtics.com what he expects out of the small forward this coming season.
“Gordon is just a good basketball player,” Ainge commented. “He can think. He can pass. He can shoot. He can create. He can defend. He can rebound. He’s a complete player, and we need him to just be that.”
Hayward played 72 games for the Celtics last season, the majority of these games saw him playing from the bench. He finished with low averages of 11.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.4 assists. He’s expected to play a lot better than last season, and the team has faith that he can achieve it.