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Gordon Hayward gets status change ahead of Celtics-Heat Game 2

Heat, Gordon Hayward, Celtics

The Boston Celtics are listing small forward Gordon Hayward as doubtful to play in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat.

This is notable because it’s the first time Hayward has been upgraded beyond “out” since he suffered a Grade 3 right ankle sprain four weeks ago during the seeding games, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

The Celtics lost Game 1 to the Heat in overtime. With All-Star point guard Kemba Walker really struggling with his jump shot as of late, Boston fans are anxious to get Gordon Hayward back on the court.

Hayward appeared in 52 games for the Celtics during the 2019-20 regular season. He averaged 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists per contest while shooting 50.0 percent from the field, 38.3 percent from beyond the arc and 85.5 percent from the free-throw line.

When Hayward was in the lineup, the Celtics went 34-18. They are clearly a more explosive team on offense when the former Utah Jazz star is playing, as he’s a versatile scorer and playmaker who makes the game easier for Walker, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

For the Celtics to defeat this tough Heat team in the conference finals, they are going to need Hayward to play and score around 15 to 20 points a game. It doesn’t look like Hayward is going to play in Game 2, but maybe we’ll see him out there on the floor in Game 3.