Gordon Hayward 2018-2019: I find your lack of faith disturbing.

djbayko

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Jul 18, 2005
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It should help him immensely as he'll be able to get most of his leg strength back. He progressed a lot as last season wore on, but even at the end, he wasn't even close to being as springy as he was with the Jazz. I'm looking forward to his dunks not seeming to be a chore.
 

lexrageorge

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Jul 31, 2007
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I don't want to derail the thread any further than it has been by posters with agendas other than just discussing hoops (not you) but I was reacting to a combination of comments in the Hayward thread as well as predictions about the team's win/totals and prospects next season. So my point wasn't entirely baseless - some posters seem pretty confident that Hayward will improve significantly next year, in addition to other players improving as well, as implied by their win totals. There are also comments to that effect in the actual Hayward thread. That said, my language was imprecise or incorrect. We now have a standard where we need to be very exacting in our takes or else we are going to have more diversions like this one - this is what the market wants apparently.

Back to the 76ers, their other signings are interesting as well with Kyle O'Quinn a decent bench upgrade while Raul Neto presumably takes some McConnell minutes. As others have stated, Zhaire Smith is the real X factor for this team - if he can make the leap and the other guys play at their expected levels, watch out.
I decided to bring this back to the Hayward thread rather than derailing the 76'ers thread any further.

The issue with the Hayward injury is that there is really little precedent to go on, unlike, say, ACL or Achilles injuries. Paul George is a common comp, but as others have rightfully pointed out, it's not a perfect one. PG's injury was different in type and degree, and PG was a true top tier player before he got hurt.

However, expecting some improvement from Hayward is not unrealistic. Last summer, he was recovering from a follow-on surgical procedure that occurred in June; he basically restarted his rehab at the start of training camp. Between having an extra year of recovery, a full summer of full strength workouts, and a being full year removed from his full season layoff, some improvement seems probably if not likely.

IMO, the open questions are (a) how much improvement will we see; and (b) how much impact that improvement will have on the Celtics. There seems to be some debate how good of a player Hayward was before he got hurt, and how well even a vintage Hayward will fit with the current Celtics team. I'm not as pessimistic as some, but not as optimistic as others either. And there is the fact that he will almost certainly still need maintenance days during the season; he needed 10 of those last season, and that's probably a realistic estimate for the coming season as well.

Anyway, my view is that if we more consistently see the glimpses of vintage Hayward that occasionally appeared last season, it would go a long way towards bumping the Celtics win totals closer to that magical 50 mark.
 

DrewDawg

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Dec 16, 2010
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Paul George is a common comp, but as others have rightfully pointed out, it's not a perfect one. PG's injury was different in type and degree, and PG was a true top tier player before he got hurt.
Year before injury:
PG 13/14: 21.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 42.4% from floor, 36.4% from three, 45.9% eFG, 55.5% TS, 28.3 usage
GH 16/17: 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 47.1% from floor, 39.8% from three, 53.6% eFG, 59.5% TS, 27.6 usage

This isn't to refute how good PG was, but those numbers are really close, and if we're gonna call PG "true top tier" at that point, it's fair to say GH wasn't far off from a strict production POV. There are obviously reasons to prefer PG--3 years younger, but neither dude was old at that point, so both conceivably had plenty of years of production ahead.
 

Euclis20

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Missing from your comparison is that PG made 1st team all defense that year, deservedly so. Hayward was a solid level below George pre-injury.
 

DrewDawg

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Missing from your comparison is that PG made 1st team all defense that year, deservedly so. Hayward was a solid level below George pre-injury.
Good point--just don't know if everyone realizes how good on offense Hayward was that year.
 

ggreene

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Jul 23, 2019
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If you look at GH's per36 stats for his peak season and last year. It's not as big of a gap as you might think. The one thing that hurt was his aggressiveness (around 4 less shots) and his 3 pt shooting (around -7%). According to reports he is doing his usual summer workout regimen. Perhaps with better leg strength that 3pt % goes back up as well as his general aggressiveness. I have no idea where he is physically or more importantly mentally, but it would not surprise me to see him post a 17/5/4 year in 32-36 mins. Probably wishful thinking to expect him to come all the way back to ~22PPG.