Boston Celtics: What Led to Gordon Hayward’s Comeback Game?

Getty Images Gordon Hayward before the game.

The journey to the top with the Boston Celtics has not been easy for former Utah Jazz star, Gordon Hayward. When Hayward came to Boston in 2017, he was supposed to be a superstar addition to the team, to help lead the Celtics to significant victories deep into the postseason. Unfortunately, that plan was derailed last year during the first half of the first game when Hayward was removed from the court via a stretcher.

So it wouldn’t be until 2018 when Hayward gets a second-chance, and truly has a debut for the Boston Celtics. Although everybody expected a rusty start for the recovering forward – Nobody expected Hayward to be this much of a disappointment throughout the first quarter of the season. Now, the Celtics as a whole have been struggling ever since the start of the year, but it was clear that Hayward was struggling to form some sort of chemistry on the court with his Boston teammates.

Therefore, he found himself in a new role that required him to come off of the bench. Something that Hayward hasn’t done since 2013. The lineup change was expected to boost the Celtics in a way, but the results were very much delayed. Finally, though, the Celtics could be seeing some significant changes as Hayward has finally had his comeback game the other night against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Hayward Finally Goes Off

Hayward tore it up on the road with his season-high of 30 points during his 30 minutes off the bench. With his non-starter role, Hayward hasn’t exactly seen a dip in his minutes, but a change of faces is all that he needed. Oh, and some extra motivation from a heated practice might’ve helped as well. According to NESN’s Lauren Campbell, Hayward might’ve found his spark on Saturday night from a highly physical practice that took place last Wednesday.

Hayward’s teammate, Marcus Morris saw it coming. While the practice was firey for everybody – Hayward’s on-court frustrations were visibly getting to his head for the better. As he kept on getting fouled, he remained fired up and rode on with that momentum into a two-game win streak with one victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, and another over the Timberwolves.

“He just got red at one point,” [Marcus] Morris told MassLive’s Tom Westerholm. “He was really upset. He was going really hard. … Any time Smartie gets tangled up with somebody, it’s good. I’ve been waiting to see that side of (Hayward) for a little bit now.”

Is Hayward Back to Normal?

Is it safe to assume that the same Gordon Hayward that came to Boston from the Utah Jazz is back in action? Or is this only just a short hot streak that is going to burn out? It all remains to be seen. As the Celtics rest up during their extended break that goes beyond Wednesday this week, the team has plenty of time to sit back and form their goals for the next few months.

As Boston was expected to be one of the Eastern Conference’s finest, they aren’t exactly on the right track right now. Maybe the two-game win streak and the resurgence of Hayward will be the stepping stone for the 2018 Boston Celtics to take their game to the next level. Hayward is far from perfect this season, but so far he’s doing a swell job of turning his struggles around. Now, he just needs to remain consistent.