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Gordon Hayward, a Broken Season

October 18, 2017

          On Tuesday, October 16th, the first game of the NBA season erupted in shock, awe, and heartbreak. The Celtics and Cavaliers were due to play in Quicken Loans Arena at 6:00 Eastern standard time. This game was going to be a preview of the two alpha teams in the Eastern Conference, the teams that were supposed to duke it out later this year in the conference finals. That could no longer be the case. Just six minutes into the first quarter, after coming down on a lob pass from the new point guard Kyrie Irving, the Celtics golden child Gordon Hayward fractured his tibia and dislocated his ankle. This means a couple of things for the Boston Celtics’ season. First of all, it has to be said that without Gordon Hayward the Celtics are a much different team than they were built to be this off season. The team dynamic that head coach Brad Stevens had built needs to be calibrated to the new state of his offence. This means that now the Celtics will be looking to their younger players for increased offensive production. With Jaylen Brown entering his second season with more experience and refined offensive skills it can be expected that he will create and capture more opportunities. The second young hope for offense in the Celtics lineup is the new addition of the rookie Jayson Tatum, a player who is seemingly refined enough to be an expected star caliber player in the coming years. Although healthy prospects Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will not replace the production and heart of Gordon Hayward, if Kyrie Irving and Al Horford can work with, and mold these young players effectively into their offense, it will certainly be a different team, but not necessarily an ineffective one. Finally, the workload for Kyrie Irving will be heavier and his production has to be increased now that he is essentially working in what could become a one man show situation. The Celtics season has undoubtedly changed and the fan base along with the NBA are left wondering if the eastern conference is entirely changed, or if the Celtics can put together out of now grim prospects, a playoff run or simply a winning season. As for Hayward, the Celtics fan base and basketball fans alike all hope for a swift and healthy recovery.

 

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