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We heard all the negative talk concerning Gordon Hayward in the first months of the season. He was too slow - too hesitant. He will never be the same player he was in Utah. He needs to get more aggressive. He is a liability for the Celtics. Really? For the five months (November through March) his only negative plus/minus was a minus-0.1 (minus-f---ing 0.1) in January. The other four months showed +4.5, +5.9, +4.3 and + 3.8.


But what is really noteworthy is his improved shooting over the December-through-March span. Hayward's accuracy has improved each month and sits at 55.0% for March.


For the past four months, Gordon's non-scoring production has been consistent at about 4.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. His scoring average has also been fairly consistent at 10-12 PPG, but obviously his efficiency has continually improved.


But the real clincher here is his Gordon's confidence in what he can accomplish. He has never relied on high-level athleticism to get the job done, but his cleverness allows him to lull the opposition into complacency and bolt to the hoop or launch a jumper. My take is that the injury no longer affects his physical performance to any degree.

Gordon has always been a heady player, and that is the tool he used while making his comeback. Well, that comeback is nearly complete, and Hayward is ready for post-season action. Don't expect the numbers he put up with the Utah Jazz. They aren't needed on this team. But expect he will be vital in Boston's success going forward.

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel and Facebook

Photo via David Liam Kyrle/NBAE via Getty Images

Tom Lane 3/28/2019 09:38:00 AM Edit
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