Oakland, Calif. — Since the Boston Celtics have meandered their way through this season, vacillating between looking just like an NBA Finals competition and also a team destined for a post-apocalyptic exit, the largest barometer for success using a nightly basis has become the drama of forward Gordon Hayward.
Tuesday’s rout of the Golden State Warriors was the newest illustration of why.
On a night time when only about everything went right to the Celtics, it had been Hayward who led the way with 30 points, seven rebounds and four assists off the seat to power Boston into an emphatic 128-95 victory within the twotime defending winners.
“you to construct off, no doubt,” Hayward said. “That’s the objective .”
Hayward’s slow progress straight back into the player he had been before to putting up with a gruesome knee and leg trauma six minutes to last season’s season opener at the Cleveland Cavaliers hasbeen one of the recurring storylines at a Celtics season that has never quite gotten going the way it was supposed to.
His drama since Boston returned from the fracture has been a microcosm of this. After sitting out the Celtics’ first match back Hayward scored 26 points about 8-of-26 shooting at the five games — four .
Then came Tuesday, when he produced more things and forced baskets (going 12-for-16 at the nighttime ) than those before five games combined.
“I know it’s 1 match,” Hayward said. “You’re are going to have ups and downs from the season. I’ll try to build off what I did properly tonight, and next time you have a terrible match, attempt to learn from you .”
While Hayward was outstanding Tuesday night the Celtics have been successful Hayward has given them a operation.
To this end: After Tuesday night, Boston is 18-2 in the 20 games this season in which Hayward has taken at least 50 per cent from the ground and 17-22 from the games he doesn’t.
“It makes our team better if he is the positive Gordon and acting such as the Gordon we know,” Boston guard Marcus Smart said. “we all know it’s been tough on him. That’s 1 thing about him, you have to provide it to himThat gentleman keeps working and working out. Although things aren’t opting for him, he proceeds to work, he does not quit, which is why we’re so, therefore optimistic about getting the old Gordon straight back, because we view exactly how hard he works.”
Hayward’s drama was symbolic of how the night went to Boston. The Celtics, who had uttered the Houston Rockets by 22 at halftime Sunday afternoon in what became Boston’s fourth loss in five games, completely turned the tables at this one, leading to Warriors by 25 points at halftime at a match Boston led by as much as 35 at a wire-to-wire win.
Boston shot 50 per cent from the area and over 40 per cent from 3-point range when forcing Golden State to 22 turnovers — probably the very notable one being a sneak Hayward had to a pass meant for Stephen Curry that turned into a fast break dip dip that delivered Boston’s entire seat into hysterics.
“You know what, I think we, as friends, in all honesty, we WISh him well,” Celtics big man Al Horford said of Hayward. “We want him to do well, to execute. Therefore, when he’s got these big games, we all feed from them. He is such a great player… we’re only improved. If he plays at that degree, we are a better team.”
The positive vibes were directed at Hayward, though. After losing five of the first six games following the All-Star fracture, the mood around the team was visibly different within the past 48 hrs after the Celtics flew outside to the beginning of a four-game westcoast swing — something Celtics trainer Brad Stevens noted before Tuesday’s match. When asked about this after Tuesday’s triumph, Kyrie Irving explained the gap was the bonding that continued during the cross country flight.
“That very long plane ride helped us out,” Irving said. “I will only say that. We were helped by that long plane ride out.
“We had it. This was only we were going to get to a point where we were only going to get fed up with fighting with one another, fighting with with the world. Also it will not even matter. So, play basketball and we wanted to come out here. That really is our sanctuary. And we want to do everything to protect it. We can’t let anyone outgrow it.”
Irving, whose own mood fluctuated throughout that losing slide, said he was helped by having conversations with Stevens and Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge about how, despite the Celtics with under-achieved to this aspect, there is tons of time left for Boston to reach what it expects to.
“Well, I mean, it gets a bit overwhelming, like I mentioned, but this is merely the business I’m at,” Irving said. “The small business component of this really is exactly that which causes it to be terrible for me, honestly, dealing with all this s–. The basketball part, I have to keep that pleasure. Where I’m great, that’s, that’s where be and I really like to engage in.
“The small business component of this really is going to be the small business. Personal side of being out here with my teammates is. It was not really a reversal of view; it let down the guard completely and not thinking I’m at odds with everybody. It isn’t a contest within this locker room. That’s the most significant things.”
“Talking with Brad was very helpful, talking with Danny was very helpful, and only distributing myself in the place of keeping it ,” Irving continued. “This made it very easy to go out and simply have a great time playing basketball.”