Implications of the Gordon Hayward Injury

Implications of the Gordon Hayward Injury

Jay Singh, Staff Writer

It was opening night for the NBA. An exciting buzz surrounded all fans as they packed into Quicken Loans Arena to watch the Celtics play the Cavaliers. That buzz dissipated when the fans noticed it. The game stopped and the hearts of many were broken. As fans looked on the court, they saw the gruesome snapped ankle of Gordon Hayward. In the aftermath of the injury, there will surely be major changes to the league.

The Celtics will be heavily affected due to the absence of Hayward, as Hayward is an all-star and the major free agent pickup for the Celtics. As soon as the impairment occurred, the Celtics knew their championship aspirations were over. The Celtics will still be a good playoff team, but now don’t have a chance against the Cavaliers in the playoffs. Before Hayward went down, the Celtics had the third highest odds to win the NBA championship, but without Hayward, their chances for the Larry O’Brien trophy are gone.

But, for every negative, there is a positive. Without Hayward eating up minutes, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, the third picks in the past two drafts, will be receiving much more minutes. They will be allowed to gain experience, in their actual position, without the pressure of playing on a championship contender. Tatum scored 14 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished out three assists after Hayward went down with the injury. Brown, on the other hand, notched a team-high 25 points, accumulated six rebounds, and got two steals. The stats these two collected were amazing. The figures they put up were gained against a great team, the Cavaliers.

Besides, the growth of the young players, the veterans of the Celtics will have to step up if the Celtics want to stay competitive. Kyrie Irving will have to be a leader for this team and assume the responsibility of scoring a majority of the points. Al Horford will have to be more than a glue guy, he will also need to help with scoring and rebounding. Although this impairment will seriously damage the Celtics championship chances this year, but will most likely help the Celtics moving forward.

This will also be a major change for the rest of the Eastern Conference. After Kyrie Irving, a perennial all-star, was acquired by the Celtics, they were reloaded for a deep playoff run An important plot point, for this season, was this new Celtic team facing off and giving a challenge to the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals. But now, without Hayward, the Celtics don’t have a chance of a deep playoff run. This will lead to the Cavs having a cakewalk to the Finals. Lebron James has been to the finals seven straight years, and without the Celtics new roster to match up against them, James will most likely make the finals again.

Aside from the Cavs, the rest of the East’s best teams will move up in the standings. The Bucks, the Wizards, and the Raptors will all climb up in the standings and have a clear path to the Eastern Conference Finals (ECF) because the Celtics are without Hayward.

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