Gordon Hayward Expected To Return Against Heat

Celtics forward Gordon Hayward will likely return next round from a Grade 3 right ankle sprain, head coach Brad Stevens said after the team’s series-clinching Game 7 win over Toronto, as relayed by Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe (Twitter link).

Hayward cleared a five-day quarantine on Friday and was seen putting up shots pre-game. The 30-year-old last appeared in a game on August 11.

“Great effort by all the guys picking each other up tonight. Excited for the Conference Finals! #BleedGreen,” Hayward wrote on social media.

Boston has managed to defeat Philadelphia and Toronto without Hayward, a reliable option who averaged 17.5 points per game this season. While it appears likely he’ll return against the Heat, a specific timeline hasn’t been released by the club. It’s also unclear whether Hayward will be brought off the bench, as he started in all 52 games this season.

The Celtics are set to open the Eastern Conference Finals against an impressive Miami team on Tuesday night, with Game 2 slated for Thursday and Game 3 for Saturday. The team lost its only meeting against the Heat in Orlando 112-106 on August 4, with Jimmy Butler sitting out due to injury.

Stevens has coached the Celtics to the conference finals in three of the last four seasons, but the team hasn’t made the NBA Finals since 2010. The C’s lost a seven-game battle to the Heat during the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals, though the only remaining member of either of those squads is Miami’s Udonis Haslem.

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17 thoughts on “Gordon Hayward Expected To Return Against Heat

  1. Ialreadyhadsteveijustupdatedmypicbeenheresince08gimmemynameback

    Either Walker or Heyward need to come off the bench. Smart brings almost everything your starting 5 needs. I’d rather it be Walker, feel like the C’s overachieved on their rebounding against a Raptors squad. Whatever slight additional rebounding that Heyward gives them at the 4 should help cushion what will be an inevitable fall back down to earth in the rebounding department.

    Walker would look great running out with some 2nd unit guys, let’s the offense revolve more around him to help him get his offensive flow back and help him remember shot creation for others is always a viable alternative to PPG when your the lead guard. Walker going ghost the last 3 or so games is what made that series a nail biter when it didn’t have to be. Alas, Walker isn’t going to the bench given his role and contract, heyward however you can use the injury to the leg (again….) as a reason to ease him back by coming off the bench. Not ideal but I’d hate to see smart back on the bench.

    Semi and William’s can provide the defensive grit and hustles plays for the 2nd unit, wanamaker your only offensive minded guy that can produce and smart really shouldn’t be the lead offensive option, even on the 2nd unit it doesn’t play him to his best abilities. Put a starter whose a scorer in the 6th man role, let smart start, and watch how opportunities for the aforementioned role players to make big plays or take good shots increase.

    • Curtisrowe

      It’s a nonissue. I would imagine Hayward would be on some sort of minute restriction so off the bench it is. He is sorely needed. They have no one on the bench who can be relied on to score.

  2. dustyceltics

    I’m not saying I disagree but I don’t think that would be a good look to bring someone end to lead you’re team over the hump and then stick him in the bench rotation

    • case7187

      Ya I’m with you Walker should start Hayward should come off the bench but they desperately need someone else on the bench to step up I’m begging any of them please step up

  3. ray win

    Definitely Hayward off the bench. He brings scoring, ball handling, and rebounding to the second unit. And either Kemba or Smart will stay on the floor with Wanamaker as part of a second unit. Hayward can spell Tatum, Brown, Smart or Walker.

  4. Yep it is

    He will only be available for about 10 minutes then will get injured. He has been a Celtic Bust.


      Where you been Haywood was not a Bust must be a Toronto fan go Celtics

      • case7187

        You must be under Danny desk for you to think that Haywood hasn’t been a bust for the C’s he’s a guy the they can win without they’ve proved over and over they could have used that money on a bench but he’s only like that because he go injured if he didn’t who knows what would have been

  5. KnickerbockerAl

    Walker is not going to bench. Like poster said. Hayward just coming back. So he will come off bench. At least at first. Thing Hayward does when he starts. It will put Jimmy on Tatum more. Still Celtics need scoring off the bench. Hayward helps there. Whether he starts or not. He started all yr you know. Still I bring him off bench for now. This series is going 7.

      • Curtisrowe

        Miami is deep and untiring. But if they had Brown, Tatum, Smart, and Walker, they obviously wouldn’t be playing 10 guys

        • Curtisrowe

          Miami has Butler and Bam and 8 good rotation guys. Celtics have Brown, Tatum Smart, and Walker and 3 good rotation guys. It should be a good series.

      • KnickerbockerAl

        I had Celtics n Bucks in beginning. The way Heat have played I’m convinced. Celts are better matchup than Bucks. And Stevens a better gm manager. Celtics at full strength are a force, I respect. Still got Heat. A young team like Celtics. You never know when they take that next step up. Like Heat did with Bucks. You are right I am less confident about Heat. But I still got them to win. Like I said Bam will be the difference.

        • Curtisrowe

          I wouldn’t bet against the Heat. I love my Celtics but I am not a homer.

          I also wouldn’t bet on the Heat. It’s a tossup. As Lakers/Clippers will be.

  6. specialfriedrice

    The only good Hayward has been for the Celtics has been when he’s been injured…

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