Celtics star Gordon Hayward to miss Hawks game due to personal reasons
Hayward had a rough start to the season after recovering from a gruesome broken leg injury on opening night last year, but in the month of January, Hayward has shown serious progress, averaging 13.3 points, four assists and 3.7 rebounds over 25.3 minutes per game while shooting 50 percent from the floor, 36.1 percent from three-point range and 68.2 percent from the free-throw line.
He also put together a 35-point performance in a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier in the month, making 14 of his 18 field-goal attempts and burying four three-pointers.
Overall this season, Hayward is averaging 11 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists across 26.3 minutes a night while making 42.2 percent of his field-goal tries, 32.3 percent of his triples and 84 percent of his foul shots.
The Celtics signed the 28-year-old to a massive multi-year deal during the summer of 2017, only to see Hayward break his leg in gut-wrenching fashion during Boston’s season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers in October of that year.
Hayward has played primarily off the bench this season, starting just 16 of the 41 games in which he has appeared.
Boston has rebounded after a brutal three-game losing streak to the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and Brooklyn Nets by defeating the Toronto Raptors and then following that up with a win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday evening.
The Celtics have not played well on back-to-backs this season, so they will have a chance at redemption when they take on the Hawks in Atlanta on Saturday. They’ll just have to do it without Hayward.