By this time, NBA superstars who are on their new teams should start fitting into their squad. If not, then it could be a very problematic situation. Now that we are about to reach December, it’s not very hard to tell which teams are contenders, and which teams are going to struggle. But the crazy thing is seeing some of the expected contenders that are struggling to stay afloat within their conference. Public enemy number one – Gordon Hayward and the Boston Celtics.
What in the world is going over there in Boston? Don’t get me wrong, there’s still way too much basketball left to be played, and it’s far too early to call anyone finished. But anybody would be lying if they said they expected the Celtics to struggle this much up until this point. With the full returns of stars like Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving, the Celtics were looked at as the kings of the East for 2018. Now, they are hardly a match for some of the East’s middle of the road teams on their schedule.
The Celtics joined the NBA’s new era of basketball last season by acquiring multiple top players in the league. Before LeBron’s return to Cleveland, Kyrie Irving was the face of the team. And before the emergence of Donovan Mitchell, Gordon Hayward was the king of the Utah Jazz. Both players lined up in Boston, which was supposed to help the Celtics strongly for the future. But so far Hayward has turned out to be a total flop with the Celtics.
What’s Going on with Gordon?
Last year, Gordon Hayward went down with an unfortunate season-ending injury, that took place during the season-opener. Automatically, year one with Boston became useless for Hayward as he spent the entire 2017 season rehabbing his leg. Hayward ended up returning on time this year with a vengeance, but so far nothing has gone quite his way.
Not only is Hayward underperforming throughout the first quarter of the season, but he’s still feeling lost at times with the Celtics. It was evident a couple of weeks ago when the Celtics decided to make a change to the starting lineup and sent Hayward to come off of the bench. Everybody would assume that his new role would light a spark in Hayward’s game, but he’s still been quite underwhelming at this point. What’s to blame? Well, according to the Boston Globe, Hayward just can’t seem to hit his stride.
“I think there are times I feel good out there on the court, And then there are other times where I feel a little lost, like I’m just floating out there.”
“I need to just be more aggressive for myself, which I think it will help our team out,” he said. “I’m trying to make the right play a lot of times and sometimes that gets me in trouble. It’s about imposing my will on the game, and sometimes you just have to go attack it. I need to do more of that.”
Where Do They Go from Here?
It sure looks like the pressure of being an Eastern Conference powerhouse is weighing in on the Celtics this season. Despite having the NBA’s biggest name out of the conference for the first time ever, the East ended up getting much stronger over the last couple of months. Now, the Celtics moves from last year’s offseason don’t look so great in comparison to this years.
Will the Celtics remain where they are at? You truly never know. But one thing is for sure, it doesn’t look like Hayward will be making a case to join the All-Star’s anytime soon. His struggles are clear as day, and now his mental thoughts are starting to weigh in on him as well. It’s going to take a lot more than coming off of the bench for Hayward to become successful in Boston, that’s for sure.