Gordon Hayward has become a target for hecklers in Boston as he struggles to rebuild his game following last season’s devastating ankle injury, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Hayward continues to struggle with his shot, hitting just 41.6% from the field and averaging 10.6 PPG. He has been limited to two points in each of the last two games, and teams are daring him to shoot from outside.
Despite the difficulties, the Celtics will need Hayward to be at his best for the playoffs, so coach Brad Stevens plans to keep giving him opportunities.
“I think you’ve just got to keep playing him and ultimately he’s going to have some ups and downs and he’s had a couple of games where the ball didn’t go in as much,” Stevens said. “I thought he was active, I thought he did some good things, and when that ball goes in he’ll feel a lot better and it will look a lot better on paper. Ultimately, we’ve got a lot of wings, a lot of other wings played more [Monday] and against Golden State, but there are going to be nights where we are counting on him to close the game because he really got it rolling.”
- Rookie center Robert Williams is free from knee pain for the first time since his freshman season in college, relays Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. The Celtics’ training staff has helped Williams control a condition called popliteal artery entrapment syndrome that kept him from playing through most of summer league. “I can honestly say with the treatment schedule that the tendinitis level has really gone down,” Williams said. “It’s not bothering me near as much as it used to. Definitely a good thing, but have to stay on top of treatment.”
- Along with a wealth of young players and draft picks to offer, the Celtics might have an advantage in the Anthony Davis sweepstakes because of Davis’ friendship with Kyrie Irving. “Kyrie and Anthony Davis are boys,” Brian Scalabrine of NBC Sports Boston said in a an appearance on Chris Mannix’s The Crossover NBA podcast. “I think they text like every day.”
- Jabari Bird, who has remained on the roster all season despite legal troubles, faces two new charges in his domestic violence case, according to John R. Ellement and Travis Andersen of The Boston Globe. Court documents were released today revealing new counts of witness intimidation and threatening to commit a crime.