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Gordon Hayward recently smoked Bradley Beal in 1-on-1

Celtics, Wizards, Bradley Beal, Gordon Hayward

Gordon Hayward had some setback in his recovery from a freak injury suffered in the opening minutes of the 2017-18 regular season opener, setting up a one-on-one workout against Washington Wizards marksman Bradley Beal. The Boston Celtics $128 million forward went into it with an investigative spirit, not expecting to get bragging rights from the friendly outing against Beal.

“I wasn’t thinking ‘I’m gonna kill this guy,'” Hayward told ESPN’s Zach Lowe on Tuesday night, after a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. “I was thinking it would show me what I needed to work on.”

Beal had told his trainer Drew Hanlen that he was confident. They started from the post and could only dribble twice before shooting, then moving into the perimeter and allowing themselves one more dribble.

Hayward swept five straight games.

“He surprised the hell out of me,” Beal said, soon after calling agent Mark Bartelstein, who represents both players. “I have good news and bad news: I might suck, but Gordon is 100 percent back.”

The moment, though insignificant in the grand scheme of successful NBA career, was a glimmer of hope after a year of arduous rehabilitation, intense anxiety, and the deflating feeling of a setback and consequent second surgery.

“I was definitely surprised,” Hayward said. “There had been so many low moments. That was a huge, huge confidence booster.”

Despite giving Beal the works over the summer, Hayward is still acclimating to his full potential after averaging a mere seven points per game through three preseason games thus far.