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The reason Celtics’ Gordon Hayward could ‘barely jump’ after returning from ankle injury

Gordon Hayward, Celtics

Boston Celtics small forward Gordon Hayward appeared in just five playoff games for the team at Walt Disney World due to an ankle injury he suffered during the first round against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Once he came back against the Miami Heat, Hayward wasn’t even close to being 100 percent and we are starting to get an understanding of why that was the case.

According to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, Hayward could barely jump upon returning to the Celtics’ lineup since his ankle injury was more serious than the team led on.

And none of those players were quite good enough in this series. Gordon Hayward was supposed to make a difference but he was hardly 100 percent, and that affected the Celtics’ approach. According to an NBA source, Hayward sustained nerve and retinaculum damage in that sprained ankle and he could barely jump. He needed about two-plus more weeks of rehab that the Celtics just didn’t have. So he played on one leg.

The Celtics lost to the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals in six games. Hayward averaged 10.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists against the Heat in four games while shooting 40.5 percent from the field, 27.8 percent from beyond the arc and 87.5 percent from the free-throw line.

You have to feel for Hayward, as he’s been bitten by the injury bug ever since he signed with the Celtics during the summer of 2017. The swingman is expected to pick up his player option worth $34.2 million for the 2020-21 season since he won’t get that type of money on the open market.