In a return that has been a long time coming, Gordon Hayward looked as ready as the Boston Celtics could have hoped for in his NBA preseason debut.
Playing on an NBA court for the first time since his horrifying leg injury in the opening minutes of last year’s season opener, Hayward posted 10 points on 2-of-7 shooting with three rebounds and an assist. Perhaps most encouraging of all, he came in second on the Celtics in minutes played at 22:31.
Hayward first made his name heard when he scored on a put-back lay-up for his first points.
Gordon Hayward, officially back 🙌
— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) September 28, 2018
He also showed off his shooting stroke, sinking a three-pointer in the third quarter.
— NBA (@NBA) September 29, 2018
After the game, Celtics coach Brad Stevens was complimentary of the play of both Hayward and Kyrie Irving, who was returning from a less severe season-ending injury of his own.
“First time back, it’s pretty remarkable the level that those two can play at, to be able to pick up and just go and do those things,” Stevens said.
Of course, there’s a small chance that Hayward was treated with kid gloves on the court when you consider what his wife posted ahead of the game.
Gordon Hayward’s wife on Instagram: “If anyone fouls my husband I will find you😡” pic.twitter.com/q3eCXDfH9E
— Boston.com Celtics News (@BDCCeltics) September 29, 2018
That’s true love right there.
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