As we noted this morning, the Lakers plan to be cautious with LeBron James‘ minutes this season. Evidently following suit, the Celtics have announced that Gordon Hayward (link) will sit out tonight’s games against the Knicks. Additionally, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports that the Raptors will rest Kawhi Leonard against the Wizards.
Per the Celtics, Hayward is out due to “left ankle recovery.” Of course, Hayward infamously broke his left ankle/leg in last season’s season opener in Cleveland. He missed the entire 2017/18 season and has experienced some obstacles and difficulties in returning from that devastating injury. Moreover, head coach Brad Stevens already indicated a minutes restriction may occur early on this season and tonight’s game is a back-to back.
As for Leonard, the Raptors are also playing a back-to-back tonight, having defeated Hayward’s Celtics last night, 113-101. His absence is being attributed to rest, but he also experienced a quadriceps injury last season, limiting him to nine games during the 2017/18 season, so it will be interesting to see how Toronto handles his minutes moving forward. Neither player is expected to miss extended time.