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Celtics’ Gordon Hayward likely to return to lineup Friday vs. Hawks

Gordon Hayward, Celtics

The Boston Celtics take on the Atlanta Hawks on Friday in Boston and all signs point toward Gordon Hayward returning to the lineup.

Gordon Hayward has missed the previous two games due to an illness. The swingman, however, is not on the latest Celtics injury report.

In 23 games this season, Gordon Hayward is averaging 10.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. The 28-year-old is shooting 41.0 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from beyond the arc and 88.7 percent from the free-throw line. Hayward has come off the bench in the last eight games he has played in.

As expected, Hayward has gotten off to a slow start this season after suffering that gruesome left ankle fracture last year on opening night. Since moving to the bench, Hayward is averaging 12.0 points per contest and shooting 43.1 percent from the floor. The Celtics are 17-10 on the season, fifth place in the Eastern Conference. The team is currently on a seven-game winning streak and playing their best basketball of the year.

The Celtics have the luxury of being patient with Gordon Hayward since they have so much talent on the roster. Star point guard Kyrie Irving is playing at an elite level, carrying the team to wins with his spectacular scoring.