How Gordon Hayward participated in practice and how he is still involved with the team
It seems that Gordon Hayward is still participating in team practices even if he can't run the drills with the rest of the team. Coach Brad Stevens had Hayward shoot a free throw to decide if the Celtics would have to participate in another drill. To no surprise Hayward made the shot, saving his fellow teammates from one more
Full #Celtics Brad Stevens on Gordon Hayward: He’s doing some spot shooting – very, very light. The other day I had him shoot a free throw in practice to determine whether we’d do the last drill or not. And he made it. So we didn’t do it. He’s doing all that he can right now.
On a different note, it is important to see Hayward being involved with the team and the coaching staff. Even though he can't participate on the court right now, he is still a very integral part to the franchise. Hayward might start to feel unwanted or looked as an outcast after obtaining the gruesome injury that is keeping him sidelined.
It seems that Coach Stevens is handling the situation perfectly because of some insight from a friend, Frank Vogel. In addition to being friends, Vogel coached the Indiana Pacers when Paul George was recovering from a compound leg fracture he sustained in August of 2014.
The night Vogel learned about Hayward's injury, he immediately texted Coach Stevens. "I kind of said, 'I'm here if you need anything," he said before a game between the Celtics and Orlando Magic. Stevens called him the next day and said, "tell me everything your went through, from beginning to end."
Vogel told Stevens that it is important to keep Hayward engaged in the process because isolation can only hurt. "Give him a clipboard," Vogel said. "We treated him like a coach and tried to keep a ball in his hands, too, even if he was sitting in a chair. Throw a ball at him and let him dribble a little bit and shoot shoot in the chair."
On top of all this information, Paul George contacted Hayward a few months back and reiterated that there will be bad days, and that Hayward shouldn't let that get to him. Vogel said that George definitely went through some tough times but always kept his eyes on his goal.
The Celtic's players and organization have listened to Vogel's advice and continue to keep Hayward involved. Now we just have to wait to see when Hayward will return to the court.