Gordon Hayward reportedly could not jump after returning from his ankle injury, but still wanted to play for the Boston Celtics in the ECF.
The Boston Celtics’ run in the bubble has ended. They showed great promise and talent in taking the defending champions to a Game 7 thriller. Unfortunately, the Celtics were outplayed by the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The most important players in the Celtics’ roster are Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown. However, their X-factor is really Gordon Hayward. The former Utah Jazz forward had been through quite a lot in the past years but continues to provide quality plays.
Unfortunately, his injury streak might have caused the Celtics a great deal in their Playoffs run.
Gordon Hayward could not jump properly after his injury
Hayward only played five games in the playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers until he injured his ankle. Since then, he was listed as out for several weeks. As a result, he didn’t play against the Toronto Raptors in the second round. He was even listed as out until Game 2 of the ECF against the Miami Heat.
Hayward then fought through the injury and returned to play 30 minutes in Game 3. He didn’t look quite like himself in his outing. Hayward only posted 6 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists while shooting at a dismal 28% from the field. His numbers remained lower than average in the next three games he played.
The reason for this wasn’t quite clear during the series. Hayward did look a bit off a beat than his usual self. Apparently, a recent report says that Gordon Hayward was far from 100% when he returned to play with the team. The report says,
“Gordon Hayward was supposed to make a difference but he was hardly 100 percent, and that affected the Celtics’ approach. According to an NBA source, Hayward sustained nerve and retinaculum damage in that sprained ankle and he could barely jump. He needed about two-plus more weeks of rehab that the Celtics just didn’t have. So he played on one leg.”
Celtics look on ahead
Despite an early exit from the Playoffs, the Celtics have many things to be grateful for in their run. Brad Stevens made sure to commend the high-quality effort and play that his players put out. On the other hand, Kemba Walker is grateful for the opportunity to go this deep in this Playoffs.
Walker is also looking forward to the opportunity to play more games with this team to realize their true potential in the East. It remains to be seen how the Celtics will shake up their supporting cast, but their future is set with the young core they have.
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