Hayward, who returned to Florida earlier this week to resume rehab on his sprained right ankle, is no longer serving his mandatory quarantine, according to Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn. Hayward was reportedly working with team trainers on strengthening his right ankle.
Washburn added Hayward will remain in quarantine until Friday at noon. He is only allowed one period per day to leave his room for exercise and rehab.
His total quarantined period is five days.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens couldn’t pinpoint the duration of Hayward’s quarantine when the question was asked Monday, however, he did imply that Hayward was far from ready for basketball activities. Stevens gave us an update last week on Hayward’s condition.
“Rehab seems to be going OK,” Stevens said. “He feels a little bit better. I don’t think his gait is perfect yet. Once his gait feels right and becomes perfect he’s probably on a quicker course to coming back. I think he’ll rejoin us in the bubble at some point but he still will be sometime away when he does do that.”
2019-2020: Hayward’s Renaissance Season
Hayward’s 2019-20 comeback campaign was unfortunately cut short in Game 1 of the Celtics’ opening-round series against the Sixers. For a guy two years removed from a gruesome season-ending foot injury that essentially changed the complexion of his tenure in Boston, it was another disappointing setback for a veteran with still so much to prove.
His season was a gem. It glimmered in contrast to Jayson Tatum’s ascension to NBA stardom and Kemba Walker’s inaugural campaign. Hayward carved out a role for himself as a secondary playmaker, which Stevens could incorporate with his second unit, and Hayward flourished.
Due to being the beneficiary of a plethora of open looks from the perimeter, his shooting numbers spiked to a career-high 50% from the floor, including a 38.3% clip from behind the arc while scoring 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game throughout the regular season.
Marcus Smart Stepped Up
Stevens spoke to what the Celtics had to do to make up for Hayward’s absence following Game 1 against the Raptors.
“Not one person is going to do what he does statistically,” Stevens said. “What he does every night we have to do it by committee. In the Philly series, Grant (Williams) came off the bench and had big moments. Brad (Wanamaker) came off the bench, had big moments. Marcus (Smart) was his normal self. Marcus today was unbelievable on both ends and I thought Semi really filled that other spot well today.”
Marcus Smart has had a lot to do with the Celtics’ success throughout their best-of-7 series against the Raptors. Filling in for the production Hayward left behind, Smart did his best Steph Curry impression in Game 1 and Game 2, where he connected on an absurd 11-of-20 of his 3-pointers, he found his inner cobra in Game 5 when he put the defensive clamps on Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry aka the head of Toronto’s snake that is its explosive offense and has just received All-Defensive First team recognition from the NBA for being the most ferocious defending guard the league has to offer.
Averaging 14.2 points while shooting 41.6% from the floor, including 37.8% from deep to go with 5.8 rebounds and four assists in the Celtics’ series against the Raptors, Smart has nearly mirrored Hayward’s regular-season production.
Quite the contrary, Stevens, one person nearly made up for what Hayward did statistically, Smart was almost the only exception.