Gordon Hayward’s progress is incremental, however in the wake of Wednesday night time’s 35-point efficiency towards Minnesota, the Celtics ahead can say with confidence that his motion is returning.
Particularly of the lateral sort.
“I think it’s slowly getting there. Like I think my lateral movement, it’s so much better since the beginning of the season,” stated Hayward, who as on Dec. 1 in Minnesota was doused with Gatorade by teammates whereas doing a postgame tv interview. “However I feel that’s fairly near the place it was.
“I think vertically I still have a little ways to go,” he stated. “My ankle is a little sore right now. But I think in April and May it’ll be better than it is right now. I’m still doing stuff for my ankle every day, trying to get it better … it’s the nature of the injury. It’s getting better.”
Maybe probably the most encouraging signal of this elevated motion was Hayward’s capability to drive previous defenders for a pair of dunks Wednesday night time.
“I think my movement is getting better. I think there are still so many things to work on. In two games, night and day. So consistency is going to be huge to have – it’s not games like this all the time, it’s just staying aggressive and attack, as opposed to being passive.”
Losses in victory
Marcus Sensible and Marcus Morris each left the sport with stinging accidents final night time – the previous, who returned, with a stinger in his shoulder, and the latter, who didn’t, with a stiff neck following a nasty fall on the fourth quarter.
“Sore as hell. It feels like I’ve got a crick in my neck. Should be cool,” Morris stated. “I sat for a while and kind of like calm downed a little bit and that stiffened up my shoulder. We’ll see tomorrow. See how it feels.”
Stated Sensible: “I just got hit in the right spot, back of the shoulder blade. It sent a sharp pain up to my neck area and that knocked the wind out of me a little bit. But everything is OK. They cleared me. Nothing was out of the ordinary, and that’s the good thing.”
Irving scratched with eye
Brad Stevens can solely think about the vary of sun shades which were obtainable to Kyrie Irving during the last three days, because the Celtics guard was raked throughout the eyes by San Antonio’s Marco Belinelli.
“He wore sunglasses yesterday. I haven’t seen him today so I don’t know. He probably has a few nice pairs of them though,” Stevens stated of what Irving wore to at least one exercise that his damage hasn’t precluded – movie research. “He was in there and I was in there. I dug his glasses so we were watching film. I put my little blue light things on. It was fun.”
Not as amusing was the very fact the damage was dangerous sufficient to maintain Irving out Wednesday night time, although based on Stevens he had improved.
“Kyrie has had inflammation in his left eye – got swiped across the face in both eyes,” Stevens stated. “The right eye is definitely feeling just a little higher however he’s out tonight and might be reevaluated tomorrow morning by the identical physician that checked out him right now.
“(It’s a) scratch, nothing long term from what I’ve been told, which is good obviously.”
Williams out once more
Although the Celtics clearly might have used the dimensions and presence of rookie Robert Williams, the younger huge man missed his fourth straight recreation as a result of a strained groin.
“Robert Williams tweaked his groin from what I gather in a shootaround in Houston, and didn’t really remember the exact moment, but was unable to warm up that night,” Stevens stated. “He’s making good progress, should be back shortly, but not ready yet.”
The actual drawback although, because the Celtics proceed to endure in the paint with an undermanned frontcourt, is the absence of Aron Baynes – out for the foreseeable future as he recovers from hand surgical procedure.
“No Baynes puts a lot of stress on us. We have to pick up for his absence,” Stevens stated. “That’s one of the things we’ve been good at. We aren’t going to talk about who is not available. We are going to have to score the ball without Kyrie and defend without Baynes. We have to do a better job of holding our ground in the post one through five.”
Terry Rozier, who has all the time performed higher as a starter than off the bench, made his third begin of the season in Irving’s absence.
“You have to be able to do both, but at the end of the day it’s always easier to play a little bit more,” Stevens stated. “Clearly he’s earned that with all he’s done here over the last three years. Anytime he’s started he’s played really well, so you feel comfortable with him. That’s a no brainer.”
A Ray of hope
Tom Thibodeau was speaking concerning the improvement of his gifted rookie, Josh Okogie, when the Timberwolves coach abruptly thought again to his time as a Celtics assistant and the work ethic of Ray Allen.
“We’ve talked about having a strategy for everything. There’s going to be times when you’re shooting the ball well, times when you’re not, and I think you’ve got to put the extra time in, but you have to have a routine for it,” he started.
“I think back to when I was here. Ray Allen, one of the best shooters in the game, and he had a routine for everything,” Thibodeau stated. “If he had a bad game, which was rare, the next morning he was in an hour before, and he had all his drills that he would go through to get back in rhythm, and I think that’s important. It was normal for him, it was his 20-minute routine before and 20-minute routine after. I think that’s part of this. There’s gonna be times when you’re shooting it better than others, but you can still play well without shooting well.”