Just six minutes into the season opener against Cleveland, the Celtics whole dynamic shifted for what seems like the whole season. The video below may be too graphic for some of our readers, so just know that going in.
Forward Gordon Hayward landed awkwardly on his left ankle in his debut with Boston last night after making contact with LeBron James and Jae Crowder on a back door alley-oop. It was originally reported as a fracture and has also been reported as a sprained ankle with a complete break in the tibia. Fans stayed silent and prayed for the Butler product, as everyone was in disbelief. Times like this make me flash back to Louisville when Kevin Ware broke his leg or when Paul George acquired a season ending injury in a Team USA scrimmage. It just leaves one question to be answered, where does this put the Celtics this season?
Without Hayward in the lineup, Tatum will have to take on a bigger role and adapt to the NBA lifestyle a little quicker. His first pro minutes came with a warm welcome to the league as said by Adam Himmelsbach:
Jayson Tatum's first two pro minutes: Swatted by LeBron, defensive 3-seconds, and caught reaching on Wade. Welcome to the NBA.
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) October 18, 2017
It all went up hill for the rookie though, as he was the first player since Larry Bird to notch a double-double in his career debut with 14 points and 10 rebounds. The comparison to Bird is a bit premature, but if anyone was to take over the role for Hayward, Tatum would be the first person I’d go to. Although, the Celtics are facing much more issues than just lineup problems, Guard Kyrie Irving is now left with an even bigger responsibility in Boston.
Overall, this is what brings the whole City of Boston closer as a unit, and the fans will be sure to support their team. As for Hayward, he is expected to receive surgery and will need months to recover. May God be with Gordon and his family as they deal with this injury, and may he have a quick and full recovery.
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