Sports can be a brutal business, and Gordon Hayward’s injury was confirmation of just that. There is no time for the Celtics to regroup as they take on the Bucks less than 24 hours after Hayward sustained a fractured ankle and tibia.
The Celtics still have plenty of talent on the roster. Here’s how we think the starting lineup will shake out in the long-term. Marcus Morris continues to recover from an ankle injury, so fans can expect to see a temporary starting lineup for the next few games.
C- Al Horford, Daniel Theis, Aron Baynes
PF- Marcus Morris*, Guerschon Yabusele
SF- Jayson Tatum, Semi Ojeleye, Abdel Nader
SG- Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier, Jabari Bird (Two-Way), Gordon Hayward (injured)
PG- Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart, Shane Larkin, Kadeem Allen (Two-Way)
With both Morris and Hayward out, here is the starting lineup we expect to see over the next few games.
C- Al Horford
PF- Jayson Tatum
SF- Jaylen Brown
SG- Marcus Smart
PG- Kyrie Irving
We give the nod to Marcus Smart, but Terry Rozier is also in the running to move into the starting lineup. Two young players, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, shined in the Celtics opener. Look for Celtics rookie forward Semi Ojeleye to get more minutes with Hayward out. Ojeleye originally played at Duke, then transferred to SMU. His game is a mixture of athleticism and three-point shooting.
Despite falling into the second round, Ojeleye was one of the more NBA ready players in the 2017 draft class. Ojeleye was a red-shirt junior at SMU. He averaged 19 points and 6.9 rebounds while shooting over 42 percent from behind the 3-point line.
Here’s a look at Ojeleye’s summer league and college highlights.
The Celtics have not announced a timetable for Hayward’s return, but have not ruled out the possibility he could be back this season.