The Boston Celtics line up has had several changes since their Eastern Conference Finals series against the Cavaliers. Kyrie Irving has returned from injury and Gordon Hayward is finally getting his chance in the team after his season-ending knee injury.
However, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN, the younger Celtics players have grown tired of the number of minutes that Hayward has been playing on a nightly basis.
“That status is precisely why, despite the many ups and downs his season has gone through so far, the Celtics continue to run Hayward out there for significant minutes on a nightly basis. That decision, at times, has frustrated the younger members of the team, who see Hayward as an impediment to the roles they grew accustomed to.”
When the Celtics got back both Irving and Hayward from injury at the start of this season, many expected that Boston may dominate the East now that LeBron James is playing in L.A. Right now they currently sit fifth in the Eastern Conference with an overall record of 31-19, it’s no disaster but it’s not exactly where the franchise would like to be.
While Kyrie has dominated for the Celtics this season, Hayward has been a little lackluster and missing the form he had while in Utah. 2017 All-Star is averaging just 10.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists and shooting 31.7 percent from the three-point line. When Hayward is on the floor, the Celtics as a team have a 3.4 net rating opposed to the 10.0 net rating they have when he is on the bench.
When speaking to Yahoo Sports just a few weeks ago, Celtics guard Terry Rozier said that he had never been on a team like this where it’s this talented.
“I don’t think we’ve all been on a team like this,” Rozier told Yahoo. “Young guys who can play, guys who did things in their career, the group that was together last year, then you bring Kyrie and Hayward back, it’s a lot with it.”
Unfortunately, Gordon Hayward has not lived up to expectations so far this season and will need to improve drastically if he’s going to keep his current minutes and if the Celtics are to be a serious threat in the postseason.