WARNING: DO NOT WATCH UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE SICK TO YOUR STOMACH
I still can’t believe it. After all the moves. After all the hype. I still can’t believe it. 6 minutes into the Kyrie Irving – Gordon Hayward Boston Celtics and Gordon snaps his leg.
My stomach dropped, I felt like I was going to puke. Not only because the injury was so gruesome, but because when it happened I thought the same thing everyone else was thinking, this season is over.
When I said that, I did not mean we are going into tank mode or anything. However, we saw that this team couldn’t beat the Cavs last year without a 2nd scoring threat. And does anyone expect Kyrie put have a similar season to what Isaiah had last season? Because if this team wants to compete for the #1 seed, that is what we are going to need out of him.
Obviously this changes the ceiling on the Celtics season, but I disagree with what some people are saying. I do not think that the Raptors and the Wizards are better than the Celtics without Hayward. I think we are right there with them. We are worst than the Cavs, but that is it. After the Cavs, it is us, Toronto and Washington. And I still like the C’s more than either of those teams.
I think Jaylen Brown is going to take a giant step this season. Just look at his game last night. He dropped 25 points on LeBron. Not only was he scoring last night, but he looked so much more confident than he was last year. He was attacking the rim and looked like the best player on the Celtics. It would not surprise me if he averages over 15 points a game this season, and the team is going to need that from him.
I was also very impressed with Jayson Tatum’s second half. He ended up with 14 points and 10 rebounds in the game becoming the 1st rookie to score a double-double in his debut since Larry Bird. Not a bad player to be compared too. Also, he was able to put up those numbers with a horrible 1st half where he looked like he was lost. He was able to get his head on straight however and put together a great 2nd half.
Things just got a lot tougher without Hayward. And even if there might be a chance he comes back before the playoffs, but I am not holding my breath. Kyrie is going to get his chance to be the main scoring threat and he is going to have to be MVP like. Jaylen and Jayson are going to get the opportunities and minutes that they need to develop into the players the Celtics hope they will be. Marcus Smart is going to get the chance he needs to get that big contract after not getting one done early. There are going to be opportunities now for everyone on this team to step up, and if they are going to make it back to the Eastern Conference Finals, they are going to need too.
The battle and performance to come back and make it a game last night gave me a lot of hope for this team. It is going to suck to be without Gordon, but I believe in Brad Stevens and the talent of these players enough that they will get past this. While this is not what anyone wanted or expected, the season is not lost.
We all wish you a speedy recovery Gordon.