In case you’ve been living under a rock, let me fill you in on the news that carried throughout the entire NBA world on opening night. Gordon Hayward not only injured his ankle, it blew up like a firework. It was one of those type of injuries where everyone will remember where they first were when they first saw it. I think it is more than obvious to assume that Hayward is done for the year and even if he is healthy enough to return later this season, there would be no reason to bring him back. Gordon Hayward was the Celtics’ second scoring option and was responsible for getting about 20 points a night. This is a huge loss and only one person is capable of replacing him: Jaylen Brown.
As if being a starter on one of the best teams in the entire league at 20 years old wasn’t stressful enough, imagine having to replace a multiple time all-star. Many second-year players go through a “sophomore slump” in which they do not meet expectations their second year in the league. This can simply not happen to Brown. The Celtics have even less of the miracle chance they had of winning the NBA Finals this season, but if we want to still contend this season, then Jaylen must squash the sophomore slump.
I personally think he can do this. From the very little I have actually seen from him already this season, I see nothing but great things from the young guy. He is way more aggressive than he was last season on the offensive end. In the late second quarter, he attacked the rim right at LeBron multiple possessions in a row. You got to love seeing a second-year player go after potentially the greatest player of all time without fear.
Not only has his offense improved, but Jaylen has been showing signs of locking guys up on the defensive end. From what we saw in preseason and opening night, Jaylen loves guarding the best offensive player on the opposing team. I mean just now when writing this he took a charge on LeBron. That’s the type of player I want wearing green. I want more than anything to see the duo of Brown and Kyrie give hope to the Celtics fans who are feeling down right now, myself included.
Brown finished opening night with a stat line of 25 points and 7 rebounds in 39 minutes as well as hit many clutch shots and locked up on defense when needed to. Of course guarding LeBron is almost impossible, but I didn’t see any signs of Brown being afraid of the challenge. An awesome opening game against the best team in the east.
I think I speak for Boston, let alone every NBA fan, when I say I wish nothing but the fastest and best recovery for Gordon Hayward. You hate to see a player of his caliber suffer such a gruesome injury just 5 minutes and 15 seconds into a promising start on a new team. What Hayward will soon know is that Boston will support him every single day and the roof will come off the Garden when he returns next season.
If you want to listen to a bunch of idiots ramble on about the NBA and just how awesome it is, then listen to my podcast Parkball Heroes on Soundcloud. If you want to listen to strictly Boston Celtics talk, listen to my other podcast Shamrock Shakedown on Soundcloud as well.