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There are always silver linings amid misfortune. You just have to find them. Or sometimes, they are in plain view. Seeing Gordon Hayward's photo wearing Celtics #20 reminded me of my chance meeting with a previous wearer of that number, Larry Siegfried, at a very low point in his life. But that is another story, and it has a silver lining.

We have that brightness in plain view, and Danny Ainge knew it all along. He knew how good Jayson Tatum is, but all we heard was that he was a rookie and would be brought along slowly. He would have to earn his minutes. Really? How does 36 minutes in his NBA debut sound? Sounds like he earned the minutes rather quickly. How about a double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists). That compares nicely with Larry Bird's stats in his first NBA game (28 minutes, 14 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists). Let's not get carried away, but I like the comparison. Jayson also joins Dave Cowens as one of three Celtics to achieve a double-double in his NBA debut. Nice company.



To be honest, I didn't totally believe Danny when he said he would have chosen Tatum first in the NBA draft. I do now. Trading back to the third pick and choosing Jayson looks like a terrific move at this point. It may go down eventually as another hijacking. I'm getting carried away, aren't I? Maybe not. Red Auerbach's trading back to the third pick in the 1980 draft, and drafting Kevin McHale while acquiring Robert Parish, was a brilliant move. This may be another one.

So with Gordon Hayward's injury, one positive aspect would be that the youngsters, including Tatum, will get more playing time until- no IF'S here- Gordon's return. Picture this. Gordon recovers, returns to play well before the playoffs and steps on the floor for the first time in a while. The cheers from Boston fans will be heard all the way to Cleveland. This misfortune really puts Kyrie Irving in the spotlight, where he wanted to be. And he is more than ready. Gordon, we need you back. Get well.



Tom Lane 10/18/2017 08:25:00 AM Edit
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