Well. That is certainly one way to start a season. You’re newly signed, shiny, and handsome free agent goes down in the first 6 minutes of the season. Fuck. I got to say man, this one really hurts. Gordon Hayward is probably the biggest free agent the Celtics have signed in the history of their franchise (No offense Horford). I mean this guy is supposed to be your number 2 go to scorer, young all star, who can help lead the celtics to the promise land in the future and you know what happens in his first game? Dude breaks his fucking ankle on alley oop attempt that had absolutely no shot of going in. I mean this really sucks. It’s like buying a brand new corvette with a new 6 car garage and you go out and crash it into a Moose (aka LeBron). Now that car is just resting in the shop.
Hayward aside, (yeah I’m still not over it and probably never will be) the Celtics actually looked pretty good tonight. Sure they had a rough first half after the gruesome injury to GH, but they continued to fight, as the Brad Stevens led Celtics continually have over his tenure. The celtics were down by as much as 18 in the 3rd quarter but managed to fight back in that SAME quarter and cut the lead to single digits. This was large in part thanks to a few of the young guns out there. Jaylen and Jayson showed up to play tonight.
Jaylen ended the night with a career high 25 points on 12-23 shooting while Tatum was able to snag 10 rebounds (HUGE FOR THE CELTICS GOING FORWARD) and score a non-shalant 14 points in his NBA debut. Not bad one bit I would say. Not bad at all.
What really impressed me about Jaylen tonight was his fearlessness on trying to score. I mean the guy is 20 years old and he was playing with the swagger of a Prime T-Mac out there. He was hitting corner threes and really taking the ball to the hole aggressively. He had some mean dunks which I think are just few of the many to come over his career.
Four paragraphs in and I haven’t even mentioned the other new superstar the Celtics acquired in the offseason. Kyrie Irving. He showed what he can do in this Celtics offense dropping 22 points and 10 assists, all while losing his second option in Hayward early in the game. I think it shows what kind of coach Brad Stevens is when on a night where Kyrie didn’t even really stand out that much to the casual fan that he can put up those stats. I think that is one of the reasons he was so excited to get out of Cleveland and play for a team like the Celtics, that actually moves the ball systematically, something that he has not had in a while (thanks LeBron).
All in all, it will be interesting going forward. I expect that once Marcus Morris is 100% healthy and ready to play, that it will be him kyrie, jaylen, jayson, and horford as the starters. But for now i think Stevens will go back to a style we saw much of last year with 4 skilled players and one ogre on the floor. Shrek last year for the Celtics was Amir and although he did a lot well, he had a lot of flaws that stuck out in Brad’s system. So now we have Shrek 2 the sequel in Aron Baynes (HAMMERCOCK!) and i think he will be starting for a little while until Morris is fully acclimated. The offense could become stagnant at times with this lineup but it gives them the rebounding they have struggled with before. I expect Stevens to make the changes he finds necessary and try lots of different guys and lineups out to see what sticks. But for now we just pray Hayward’s diagnosis isn’t too bad and that there is a chance at a possible return this year, giving the Celtics another swing at Banner 18. So long for now. On to the freak from Milwaukee.