threrf23 wrote:I get the sense that Gordo plays off of his teammates' energy to some effect. At least, that is how I am rationalizing his performance against the Bucks.
Up until the Bucks series I thought he was getting critiqued unfairly. Not only was he recovering from his leg injury, but he has always been the type to make quiet contributions that easily go unnoticed. Even on a bad night, he is generally in the right spots and makes the right decisions. Statistically, all stats considered, he had a better year last year than many presume.
I remember after he was signed, a Jazz fan came here and told us that part of the reason he was so successful in Utah, was because the Jazz had designed their entire offense around him. We don't need to design our offense around him, but it is our coaching staff's responsibility to make sure that he lives up to potential next season.
Compared his PER36 numbers this season (72 games) and his last season in Utah (73 games).
He was really bad shooting the three-ball prior to February. It was at 38.7% since February 1. Everything else was pretty close. The point production was never going to be the same even if healthy considering he was the #1 guy in Utah. Boston had Kyrie, Tatum, and Brown to carry the scoring load. Then you had guys like Morris and Rozier who took away touches and shots from him whenever they shared the floor. He was taking 4 FGAs (per 36 mins) less in Boston. His ppg will naturally decrease.
For an entire year where he was still getting back into game shape after his second surgery, where his role isn't clearly defined due to overlaps, where he didn't want to step on anybody's toes ("walking on eggshells" was the phrase being thrown around), where Rozier (contrary to TRo's claims) has the ball in his hands on the second unit more often than not, those numbers are pretty good.
We wouldn't see the real potential of Hayward until the roles and usage on the team are sorted out. We had an opportunity to do that by at least trading Rozier but Danny inexplicably stood pat.
I don't expect Celtics fans to come out impressed with Hayward's performance last season. But reducing him to "eh, didn't score much, wasn't aggressive enough" without looking at his other contributions and the context in which he made those contributions is foolhardy. We saw glimpses of what he can be when given the right role and opportunity. I am hopeful for next season if they intend to keep him and we Marie Kondo the **** out of our roster.
Speaking of glimpses, Hayward was one of only 14 guys in the entire league (only Celtic) who had multiple 30-point games in under 30 minutes.
The scorer in him is still there.
If Kyrie returns, I like the Manu role for Hayward. But Cs have to almost exclusively let him handle the ball whenever Kyrie and Horford sit. He remains the best playmaker within Brad's system imo.