In defense of Hayward:
I understand Hayward is not playing well, but it has now been 13 months since his injury. When Paul George broke his leg on August 1st 2014, he was able to put his full weight on it just 1 month later, and went on to fully practice in late February, 6 months after the injury. He then played only 7 games that season and had all offseason to recover more and get back into basketball shape. He was bad in those 7 games, averaging only 8 points.
Hayward on the other hand wasn’t cleared to fully practice or run until earlier this summer, almost 10 months after his injury. While Paul George had all offseason following his injury to rehab, Hayward is essentially using the season now as his full rehab, as he hasn’t even been cleared for 5v5 ball for half a year yet.
Does this mean it’s acceptable for him to be playing bad? No. But we also shouldn’t trade him or rule him as an awful player... Hayward is a 20+ ppg all star, who wasn’t given enough time to recover. Fact is we shouldn’t be starting him while we are trying to win, but we need to be more patient. PG took a year and a half to recover, so give Hayward AT LEAST five more months before we write him off as terrible. If we didn’t play Hayward at all, we would still be losing, our team just isn’t there right now. Hayward’s passing and basketball IQ is still there, he just needs to find his rhythm with his shot and regain the confidence to play at 100% speed and move laterally/dunk.
Trust the process, sorry for a rant. #gordonhayward #hayward #celtics #nba