Celtics’ Gordon Hayward admits there has been some uncertainty with roles
Gordon Hayward acknowledged the transition the Boston Celtics have been forced to undergo this season after an injury-laden team was able to succeed despite the setbacks suffered last season. A part of it was the struggle to fit a healthy Hayward into this old starting role, but failing to get the desired results, which in turn forced Brad Stevens to relegate him to a bench role.
“I think to some extent it’s provided some uncertainty with roles a little bit,” Hayward said, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “When you have guys that are supposed to be your main guys get injured, and have serious injuries and miss a lot of time, then other guys step up and play well, you’re going to have some uncertainty there. So I think that’s how it has affected us a little bit.
“But we’ve kind of started to figure it out now.”
Beyond Hayward, the likes of Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier have also seen their minutes and roles change, as Marcus Smart took over Brown’s starting spot and Rozier was forced to give back most of his minutes to franchise star Kyrie Irving, further reducing his role with the team.
Stevens has shuffled this lineup plenty since getting off to a slow start to the season, and he has had to tinker even more than he previously anticipated as Hayward has had his share of moments of brilliance as of late.
The hope is that the 14 games left are enough for the Celtics to figure out a winning formula, one that can take them back to the Eastern Conference Finals and take them through that door a year after falling a game shy of reaching the title series.