Gordon Hayward 2020: I'm standing here in pieces and you're having delusions of grandeur!

lovegtm

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This is a big deal--Hayward is a guy you really want to have against the Heat's less-athletic zone; there are a lot of soft spots for his game there.
 

scottyno

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This is a big deal--Hayward is a guy you really want to have against the Heat's less-athletic zone; there are a lot of soft spots for his game there.
Especially since Ojeleye just played 71 minutes in this last series. Even if you just give Hayward those minutes, and then you get tatum or brown a few extra minutes of rest and get him to 15-20, that's a massive upgrade. It also gives the option to play smart or hayward at the pseudo point guard for stretches if kemba can't get it going.
 

lovegtm

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Especially since Ojeleye just played 71 minutes in this last series. Even if you just give Hayward those minutes, and then you get tatum or brown a few extra minutes of rest and get him to 15-20, that's a massive upgrade. It also gives the option to play smart or hayward at the pseudo point guard for stretches if kemba can't get it going.
Yeah, no team left outside of Denver has a post-threat center, which means the Celtics biggest depth weakness is gone. If Hayward is back, they're the deepest 1-6 team left; they can keep a crazy amount of quality playmaking/shooting on the floor at all times, without having real defensive weakness outside of Kemba.
 

scottyno

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Yeah, no team left outside of Denver has a post-threat center, which means the Celtics biggest depth weakness is gone. If Hayward is back, they're the deepest 1-6 team left; they can keep a crazy amount of quality playmaking/shooting on the floor at all times, without having real defensive weakness outside of Kemba.
Lakers kind of do if we get to that point, not that they're big threats offensively, but they have 2 big centers that might be too much for theis to handle.
 

lovegtm

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Lakers kind of do if we get to that point, not that they're big threats offensively, but they have 2 big centers that might be too much for theis to handle.
The key is that their centers aren’t post threats in the way Embiid and Jokic are. AD is an amazing player, but that’s not his game. The Celtics didn’t have emergencies in that area during the regular season against LAL.
 

bigq

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The key is that their centers aren’t post threats in the way Embiid and Jokic are. AD is an amazing player, but that’s not his game. The Celtics didn’t have emergencies in that area during the regular season against LAL.
I’ll just say it out loud. The Celtics are going to beat the Heat and I can’t wait for the Celtics vs Lakers Finals. Getting Hayward back makes the Celtics favorites to win it all.
 

tbrown_01923

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It comes down to moving well enough on defense to replace semi's minutes - doesn't it?

I both liked the lack of hesitation (wish he showed that earlier in his career) and cussed everytime Semi shot over this series. Hayward gives me more confidence as a spot up shooter - but if he gets switched onto the more mobile guard / wings he needs to be able to move his feet well enough to be at least as competent as Semi. Its great to see him back in the fold and being as competent as Semi isn't a huge hurdle for Hayward. Even if only to provide a few extra minutes of depth...
 

radsoxfan

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No chance they are favored against either LA team
I'd be surprised if they were the betting favorite as well, though metrics really like this Celtics team.


For whatever its worth (maybe not much), at this moment they would clearly be favorites against either LA team based on 538 projections.
 

bigq

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No chance they are favored against either LA team
Without a doubt my comment was colored by my green tinted glasses and also exuberance coming out of last night’s win. You may be right that in a head to head series the Celtics would not be favored over either of the LA teams however I like their chances given the skill level of their top six players (assuming Hayward is reasonably close to 100%) are ahead of the top six for any of the remaining teams. Kawhi and LeBron are otherworldly and may counter that argument but there are other’s who like the Celtics chances as well.
Edit - radsox beat me to it. What he said.
 

Captaincoop

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I would love nothing more than to watch Tatum, Brown, and Smart put another dent in Lebron's precious Jordan comparison AND put the Lakers back two titles behind the Celtics. That would be NBA legacy porn for me.

The Heat are standing in the way of that currently. Therefore they must be destroyed with extreme prejudice.
 

jose melendez

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I would love nothing more than to watch Tatum, Brown, and Smart put another dent in Lebron's precious Jordan comparison AND put the Lakers back two titles behind the Celtics. That would be NBA legacy porn for me.

The Heat are standing in the way of that currently. Therefore they must be destroyed with extreme prejudice.
Meh.... the LA Lakers only have 11. We can't seriously be counting Minneapolis.
 

Euclis20

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I would love nothing more than to watch Tatum, Brown, and Smart put another dent in Lebron's precious Jordan comparison AND put the Lakers back two titles behind the Celtics. That would be NBA legacy porn for me.

The Heat are standing in the way of that currently. Therefore they must be destroyed with extreme prejudice.
Certainly that would be great, although I feel it's worth pointing out that LeBron has beaten the Celtics the last 5 times they've met in the playoffs. He's been the one to knock Boston out in 5 of their last 8 appearances. It's been a long, long time since the Celtics were damaging LeBron's legacy.

Meh.... the LA Lakers only have 11. We can't seriously be counting Minneapolis.
True, but for some ungodly reason, this is never mentioned.
 

jose melendez

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Certainly that would be great, although I feel it's worth pointing out that LeBron has beaten the Celtics the last 5 times they've met in the playoffs. He's been the one to knock Boston out in 5 of their last 8 appearances. It's been a long, long time since the Celtics were damaging LeBron's legacy.



True, but for some ungodly reason, this is never mentioned.
And the five rings in Minnie were all before the Cs won their first. The like-like comparison is the Cs vs. the LA Lakers.
 

slamminsammya

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I somehow feel it's not automatic the Celtics will be underdogs in a finals matchup against either LA team. Vegas can see Tatum developing in real time, too.
 

Euclis20

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I think the Celtics have a shot at being favored or pick em against the Clippers, but Vegas has had the Lakers as the favorite since the start of the bubble. That won't change if they beat the Clippers.
 

DGreenwood

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I'm guessing that Hayward comes back for game 3. That gives him another week to strengthen the ankle and for conditioning. He looked good in the shooting drills but that doesn't mean he's ready to play. It does mean he's ready to go pretty hard in his rehab and workouts though.
 

bosockboy

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I'd be surprised if they were the betting favorite as well, though metrics really like this Celtics team.


For whatever its worth (maybe not much), at this moment they would clearly be favorites against either LA team based on 538 projections.
Part of that is their algorithm has it much likelier that the Celtics make the Finals. The LAL/LAC winner is in far more doubt.
 

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I'm guessing that Hayward comes back for game 3. That gives him another week to strengthen the ankle and for conditioning. He looked good in the shooting drills but that doesn't mean he's ready to play. It does mean he's ready to go pretty hard in his rehab and workouts though.
That makes sense. And if it happens to go extremely well, maybe he gets 10 minutes Thursday. Otherwise, Saturday seems like a reasonable target return.
 

JakeRae

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Part of that is their algorithm has it much likelier that the Celtics make the Finals. The LAL/LAC winner is in far more doubt.
Yes, but a lot of it is that their ratings have the Celtics on helium. Comparing current ratings to full season ratings (note, this is not a perfect comparison because other teams have player’s whose ratings have improved in the playoffs), we currently have a borderline top 5 player (Kemba), two top 15 players (Tatum and Smart), and a top 40 player (Brown). The Heat, as a point of contrast have a top 10 player (Butler) and two top 30 players (Dragic and Bam). The Clippers have two top 10 players (Kawhi and George) and a top 30 player (Beverley). The Lakers have a top 5 player (Davis) and a top 10 player (Lebron).

Now, I can see reasons to be skeptical of 538 thinking our top 2 guys are basically on par with each LA top 2 (I think mostly that it is underrating the LA players not that ours aren’t that good). I could also see skepticism about Smart actually being a top 15-20 player, although people here probably know how much I love Smart as a player and would be unsurprised I think that rating is accurate, at least for playoff Smart. But I think the biggest takeaway is we run 4 deep with reliably very good players when other teams only go 2-3 deep, and that is a huge difference.

Note: 538 doesn’t love Hayward so him being healthy wouldn’t alter the above. He slots in the next tier of good but less noteworthy players like Theis, Danny Green, and half the Heat roster (Olynyk, Robinson, Jones, Iggy, Jae).
 

radsoxfan

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Part of that is their algorithm has it much likelier that the Celtics make the Finals. The LAL/LAC winner is in far more doubt.
That's not it. They think the Celtics are a big favorite to win the Finals when they get there. 75% chance to make the Finals and 55% chance to win it all means they will be strong favorites in the finals by their algorithm.

They are very high on the Tatum/Walker/Smart combo, those 3 are all top 18 WAR on the season.
 

DGreenwood

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I’d start Smart still. He’s playing really well. Hayward can come in when ready and play in spurts as he works his way back.
Agreed. The current starting five is firing on all cylinders while Hayward hasn't played in a month and he isn't 100%. Hayward's role should be clear, it's to supplement what the team has been doing through the first two rounds and make them deeper. This is an easy decision and Hayward should have no problem understanding that.
 

radsoxfan

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He's coming off a serious ankle sprain, Hayward's going to be the sixth man going forward. We should celebrate less Semi.
I agree, I don't care if Hayward starts or not, but his main role at this point is as a gigantic bench upgrade.

If he can give the Celtics 20-25 minutes close to what he did in the regular season, that means no Semi, less Wanamaker, and more rest for the top guys. Huge upgrade.
 

JakeRae

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I think we’ve hit the point in Smart’s career where he has seized a starting role for good. He’s too valuable to be losing minutes by coming off the bench. Hayward’s natural role on this team at this point, particularly coming off an injury, is as 6th man. Toronto’s comments after the game last night reinforce that players around the league understand this to be the case too.
 

Euclis20

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I’d start Smart still. He’s playing really well. Hayward can come in when ready and play in spurts as he works his way back.
Yup. The harder decisions come in crunch time, when only 3 of Hayward/Brown/Smart/Kemba can play (I assume that Tatum/Theis will be on the court no matter what).
 

Euclis20

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I think we’ve hit the point in Smart’s career where he has seized a starting role for good. He’s too valuable to be losing minutes by coming off the bench. Hayward’s natural role on this team at this point, particularly coming off an injury, is as 6th man. Toronto’s comments after the game last night reinforce that players around the league understand this to be the case too.
Yes, though honestly I think it's less about Smart and more about Tatum. Hayward's advantage over Smart on offense is less important with Tatum becoming a guy who can consistently score 25+.
 

radsoxfan

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Yup. The harder decisions come in crunch time, when only 3 of Hayward/Brown/Smart/Kemba can play (I assume that Tatum/Theis will be on the court no matter what).
I don't know if Theis is an automatic, depending on the matchups.
 

TripleOT

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Yup. The harder decisions come in crunch time, when only 3 of Hayward/Brown/Smart/Kemba can play (I assume that Tatum/Theis will be on the court no matter what).
Tatum, Brown, and Smart are going to be on the court in crunch time. If it’s possession by possession, it will be Kemba and GH in for offense, and GH and Theis on defense. Smart needs to be on the court to do Smart things, of course on defense, but also on offense, like tip aN offensive rebound to a teammate for a game tying three.
 

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If we had peak Hayward it would be a hard decision, but we don't.
 

Euclis20

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If we had peak Hayward it would be a hard decision, but we don't.
I think this is probably it. The closing 5 since Hayward went down has basically been the starting 5 (absent foul trouble), but Hayward playing well complicates it, for better and worse. Even if we get 2018-2019 Hayward it's a big positive, as that guy will get some minutes currently going to Semi and Wanamaker.
 

InstaFace

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fine. Brooklyn's 1955 flag still flies in Chavez Ravine.



You could do this for a lot of teams. Here's a discussion on the Twins claiming the 1924 Senators' title:

 

128

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Latest from The Athletic:

Also conflicting with that timeline is the impending birth of Hayward’s son. Hayward is expected to depart the bubble when his wife, Robyn, delivers. Hayward would be unavailable for about a week between departing the bubble and a four-day quarantine upon his return.

 

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Also conflicting with that timeline is the impending birth of Hayward’s son. Hayward is expected to depart the bubble when his wife, Robyn, delivers. Hayward would be unavailable for about a week between departing the bubble and a four-day quarantine upon his return.

It does bring into question why he returned. If he likely a week+ away, he'll miss games 1-3, and potentially be available for games 4-7 if they occurred in limited minutes. He'd then presumably leave the bubble and miss another 3-4 games. Meaning the most probably outcome is that he came back to play 1-2 games and misses 3-4 weeks at home. There is no judgement in this post, I'm just a little confused unless he thinks he'll be back sooner - or leaving later.
 

128

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It does bring into question why he returned. If he likely a week+ away, he'll miss games 1-3, and potentially be available for games 4-7 if they occurred in limited minutes. He'd then presumably leave the bubble and miss another 3-4 games. Meaning the most probably outcome is that he came back to play 1-2 games and misses 3-4 weeks at home. There is no judgement in this post, I'm just a little confused unless he thinks he'll be back sooner - or leaving later.
Maybe we all mis-read that social media post by his wife, or perhaps the family has had a change of heart. But that post seemed to indicate he wouldn't be coming home until after the baby was born.
 

lovegtm

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This might be much ado about nothing: Hayward hasn't said anything besides that Insta post, so I imagine that Weiss was trying to take the conservative approach of reporting his last declared intention, which was to leave for the baby.
 

Red Averages

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Maybe we all mis-read that social media post by his wife, or perhaps the family has had a change of heart. But that post seemed to indicate he wouldn't be coming home until after the baby was born.
I still retain a view that he'll be back for the birth, given that is what the family and media has consistently said and a view that "we won't see Dad until there's a baby boy" could easily mean he goes to the hospital when she goes into birth.
 

Smokey Joe

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FYI When a baby has a due date, anytime 2 weeks before and after that due date is fair game. The baby may decide to come right after our 4 game sweep of the Heat and Hayward will leave after the game and rtn for game one of the finals, or he may decide to come right before game 7. (Most likely outcome due to Finagle’s Law.) Hayward and the Celtics are positioning themselves to get maximum possible playing time for him and them.
I also think that he didn’t really have a grade III, he is getting better much to fast. But I am used to how mere mortals deal with these things, not professional athletes.