Amid Carmelo Anthony drama and a slow start for Boston, Gordon Hayward has said that he’d be willing to accept a bench role for the struggling team.
The Celtics came into the season expecting to rule the Eastern Conference but have so far gone 7-6 in a disappointing start. The return of Gordon Hayward himself has been lackluster, leading to his acceptance of the possibility of a different role. This comes at a time when Carmelo Anthony is being routinely roasted for never being willing to accept such a role–it looks like Hayward has been paying attention.
Hayward hasn’t been performing the way he’d hoped after returning from last season’s gruesome leg injury. He’s shooting 39.6 percent from the field and 31.9 percent from three after having a starting role in each of the Celtics’ 12 games.
When asked about the possibility of switching to a bench role for the Celtics as they continue to work out the kinks, Hayward was open to the idea. “I said it before the season, it’s whatever to me,” he told Bleacher Report. “We have to figure something out because for whatever reason we’re not playing our best basketball right now.”
Hayward is Still Shaking off Some Rust
Hayward has been streaky so far this season and has been noticeably not himself. The former All-Star is averaging 9.9 points per game, along with 5.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists, but it’s nowhere close to his former glory. With the Utah Jazz in 2016 he was averaging close to 22 points per game and was the go-to guy.
He’s expressed some frustration with his continued process of recovery. “There’s obviously a little bit of rust and sometimes you just go through those phases,” he said. “You go through slumps. The shot feels good in practice and looks good, and for whatever reason in the game, they’re in and out.”
Through whatever frustration he’s experiencing, though, it’s a good sign that he’s willing to take a backseat to help the team succeed. If it’s not working right now, it’s not working. But once Hayward is back at 100%, it’ll be a different story.
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