The Boston Celtics have emerged as one of the NBA’s best teams to start the season. After losing their season-opener to Philadelphia, the Celtics have gone undefeated and currently sit at 8-1.
One of the biggest factors of Boston’s success has been the excellent play of Gordon Hayward. Two years removed from his catastrophic leg injury, Hayward appears to be back.
Unfortunately for the Celtics, Hayward faces another roadblock. In a recent win against San Antonio, Hayward broke his hand after having a pick set on him by LaMarcus Aldridge. He had surgery Monday and will miss six weeks of action.
In eight games, Hayward has been phenomenal. He has averaged 18.9 points per game on 55 percent shooting, as well as career-highs in rebounds and assists.
Hayward’s best performance came against the Cavaliers, where he scored 39 points on 17-20 shooting, going a perfect 16-16 from inside the three-point line.
Boston’s core of Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart have all played well to start the season. With Hayward out for the next several weeks, can they keep it up without him?
Here is Boston’s schedule for the next six weeks.
If Gordon Hayward returns in 6 weeks, he'll miss 19 games (including tonight's game):
Back for Christmas Day game at Toronto just after 6 weeks.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) November 12, 2019
Overall, this schedule isn’t too tough for the Celtics. The hardest games will be part of a west coast road trip where the Celtics will face the improved Suns, and contender Clippers and Nuggets. Visits from Miami, Denver and Philly could also be tough games.
Players off the bench like Javonte Green and Carsen Edwards will have to step up, and Romeo Langford, who has primarily played in G-League, will need to prove himself if given more minutes.
Hayward’s loss is big, but given the play of Brown and Walker in particular, the Celtics should be able to manage.
Featured image credited to AP.
Stats credited to basketball-reference.com.