Jared Weiss: Brad Stevens asked on 98.5 what game Gordon Hayward will be back: “I don’t know. I’m not a doctor.” Q: “Is he close?” A: “What does close mean. Define close.”
The former All-Star wing was having a resurgent season when a grade III right ankle sprain knocked him out of the playoff opener against Philadelphia. The Celtics gave him a four-week timetable to return to basketball activities, which would be borderline unprecedented for a grade III sprain. The four-week mark comes just ahead of Game 2 of the Conference final, but it doesn’t sound like Hayward is close to hitting that mark. “He did a couple of non-contact, very light drills,” coach Brad Stevens said. “He’s out there doing individual work right now, but none of that stuff with any groups.”
Chris Grenham: Brad Stevens on Gordon Hayward: "I know he feels better. He's worked hard to get where he is. I think he'll play at some point in this series. ... I feel like he's made good progress."
Gordon Hayward returned to the bubble earlier this week after suffering a Grade 3 ankle sprain in round one against the Philadelphia 76ers. The forward cleared quarantine Friday afternoon, which allowed him to get shots up with the Celtics staff prior to the tip-off of Game 7. Stevens was asked about Hayward’s status following the team’s series-clinching win. “I think he’ll be back at some point in that series (vs. Miami),” Stevens said. “But I don’t know when.”
Tim Bontemps: Celtics forward Gordon Hayward will be able to leave quarantine Friday, per a league source. It remains unclear when Hayward will be able to resume play -- he was ruled out for four weeks when he initially sprained his ankle on Aug. 17 -- but it's a first step in his return.
Chris Grenham: Brad Stevens says Gordon Hayward is back in the bubble and currently quarantining. "I haven't seen him because he's been in a room."
Chris Mannix: Brad Stevens said Gordon Hayward’s rehab from a sprained ankle is going “OK.” Says his gait still isn’t right. Says he expects Hayward to rejoin the team in the bubble, but he won’t rejoin and be ready to play right away.
Brian Robb: Gordon Hayward on his ankle injury: "It's definitely gutting. It sucks. There's nothing else to say about it."
Brian Robb: Gordon Hayward: "The mental side of rehab is by far tougher than the physical." Can't imagine being in an bubble helps on that front. Really tough situation for him.
IJared Weiss: Brad Stevens on Hayward injury: "It's our job to make up for all the great things that he does by committee." They are still determining whether Hayward's rehab will happen in or out of the bubble.
Derek Bodner: Brown on potential starting lineup changes with Hayward injury: "Anything's on the table once we learned this Gordon Hayward news." Brown also said he was "very influenced, by and large, with just trying to match minutes (with Boston's stars)." Seems to bode well for Thybulle.
Chris Mannix: Just spotted Gordon Hayward walking into the Celtics meal room. On crutches. A boot on his right foot/ankle. Putting no pressure on it.
The Boston Celtics lost forward Gordon Hayward to a right ankle sprain in the fourth quarter of their 109-101 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday. "Sprained ankle," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said after Game 1 of this East first-round series. "Don't know the severity, but he's clearly in pain, and it looked like it had some swelling already. That's my medical review."
Sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews after the game that Hayward would be getting an MRI on his ankle later Monday to determine the severity of the injury. Hayward, who scored 12 points on 5-for-13 shooting with 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals in 34 minutes, was trying to box out Sixers star Joel Embiid inside with about 3½ minutes to go in the fourth quarter when his right foot got twisted and he went down to the floor in a heap.
For a player who noted soreness in his surgically repaired left ankle at the beginning of the NBA’s return to play program in June, the Celtics will certainly proceed with an abundance of caution. Hayward prefers to play without an ankle brace on, but there is a good chance that is going to change once he eventually makes it back on the floor. But considering he is already planning to depart the bubble to attend the birth of his son at some point in mid-September, the Celtics may have to plan on a playoff run without him.
Brian Robb: Brad Stevens on Gordon Hayward's ankle injury: "He's clearly in pain. It looks like he had some swelling already."
A. Sherrod Blakely: Gordon Hayward said his left foot still gets sore sometimes, adding that he thinks it's associated with the gruesome foot injury he suffered at the start of the 2017 season, his first in Boston.
Gary Washburn: Jaylen Brown out at least a week. Hayward day to day and Kemba just getting back to back rest. #Celtics
Tim Bontemps: Boston’s season as the walking wounded continues: Marcus Smart (quad) and Brad Wanamaker (ankle) are probable. Jaylen Brown (ankle), Gordon Hayward (foot) and Kemba Walker (knee) are questionable. Daniel Theis (ankle) and Robert Williams (hip) are out.
Chris Forsberg: Gordon Hayward says he’s been dealing with nerve issue in foot. Has received three cortisone shots but is hopeful most recent will work. Admits he’s frustrated. Also believes it’s related to his ankle injury. Hayward said he’ll see how ankle feels tomorrow but hopeful to play.
Mark Murphy: Cortisone shot appears to have been solution re: Hayward's foot. "I was super frustrated. I broke my hand and this was a different issue. When I wasn’t playing you would think I could figure it out. We were calling around the country trying to figure it out. Hopefully we did."
Jay King: Gordon Hayward said he thinks the nerve pain has “everything do with” his prior injury. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence.”
Tim Bontemps: Brad Stevens says Gordon Hayward had a strong workout this morning. Won’t play today but says he expects him to be probable after today - meaning he’ll likely be back for Christmas Day in Toronto.
Tim MacMahon: Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Gordon Hayward has been dealing with lingering foot soreness since before his hand injury. Hayward had a cortisone shot and it didn’t respond well. Will get another MRI tomorrow.
Jared Weiss: Stevens says Gordon Hayward is going through walkthrough today with the intention of playing. Meeting with training staff now.
Gordon Hayward broke his left hand four weeks ago against the San Antonio Spurs. Today, the former All-Star wing told reporters that he could return tomorrow to face the Cleveland Cavaliers. “Tomorrow’s a possibility,” he said. “See how I feel when I wake up, go through shoot-around, see how it goes.”
Chris Forsberg: Gordon Hayward on his broken hand… "Bone has healed, probably stronger than my right hand. There’s a plate in there with screws. The bone is good. … Tomorrow’s a possibility. See how I feel when I wake up, go through shootaround, see how it goes."
The four week return would be much earlier than the initial six week prognosis, which is partly because of quick healing, and partly by design. “I think as it’s steadily improving and can do more and more, you start to think coming back a little bit earlier,” Hayward said. “I think you set the timeline a little bit later than what you’re hoping for just so that you guys and everyone else isn’t like, ‘If you’re late like, what’s the deal?’”
Hayward added that he expects to be dealing with effects from the injury throughout the season. “It’s definitely something where, hopefully not the rest of the season, but certainly a lengthy part of the season, I’m going to have to continue to get treatment, continue to ice it and kind of manage some of the symptoms," Hayward said. "I don’t want it to get hit again, but I’m sure it will get hit again, and when that happens it’ll be sore. So I’ll manage that. But it’ll be something I deal with for the rest of the year.”
The initial Celtics timetable had Hayward projected to return six weeks after the surgery just ahead of Christmas and there has been no adjustment to that plan as of now. “It’s still hard to say exactly,” Hayward admitted when asked about a return plan. “But we have some good days here at home where I can practice and really do the things I want to do and kind of feel it out and see how it responds. I did a lot on it today, so I think it’s going to be more sore. It might swell up, so hopefully as soon as I’m done here go ice it and get some of the swelling down and kind of just take it day by day.”
On Tuesday, Hayward practiced with the team -- stepping aside for live run to be an official, according to Brad Stevens -- but he did something resembling contact drills with Celtics coaches. “I played a little kind of like hybrid contact today with coaches and stuff,” Hayward told reporters. “It’s definitely sore and I think that’s something I’ve got to work through. I’ve got to work through that to make my hand stronger, and hopefully over the next couple of days I can do that and get it kind of more the same strength of my right hand. I think it’s going to be a little while, and plus I was right-hand dominant anyway. So it’s definitely going to probably not be the exact same, but get it more strengthened so the percentage is closer to my right.”
Jay King: Gordon Hayward expects for deal with symptoms from his injury for a while after he returns. He did some structured contact drills with coaches today, cracked that they’re not exactly NBA players.
A. Sherrod Blakely: Gordon Hayward will have another meeting on Monday via FaceTime with his doctor to discuss the healing process on his surgically repaired left hand to see what's the next step in his recovery process, according to #Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.
Jared Weiss: Important Gordon Hayward update: Hayward was able to continue gaming after the injury and said it actually served as rehab to keep his fingers moving.
Tim Bontemps: In other injury news, Stevens says Gordon Hayward’s recovery from surgery to repair a broken bone in his hand is “on pace.” Adds that rookie Tremont Waters, who was called up from the G-League today and is on a two-way, will be active if Walker doesn’t play against Sacramento.
Tom Westerholm: Brad Stevens says Gordon Hayward started shooting again this week. He doesn’t expect Hayward to lose much on that end, which is a positive with his injury.
"It’s a drop in a bucket, for sure,” said Hayward, meeting with reporters before Wednesday’s game against the Washington Wizards. "Like I said, happy that it shouldn’t be that long. Obviously frustrated — it sucks watching and not being able to go out there and play, especially with the start that we’ve had. I think this time around, I’ll be able to run around, use my legs still, maintain my conditioning, which I’m very thrilled about and then be around the team, too. And kinda stay involved, which is good.”
Hayward said surgeons inserted both a pin and a plate at the fracture to both stabilize and expedite the recovery process. He will not travel at the start of Boston’s upcoming five-game trip out west and will have a follow-up with the hand surgeon in New York while waiting for clearance to travel. Hayward appeared in good spirits despite the injury. His splint is already covered in drawings from his two oldest daughters, Charlotte and Bernadette. Despite his advice on color choices, he maintained a “Daddy’s Always Happy” face when detailing what his daughters sketched.
Jay King: Gordon Hayward said once the bone is healed it could become a pain tolerance thing. He thinks it could be helpful that it’s on his left hand.
Jay King: Gordon Hayward: “It’s frustrating, no doubt about it. ... But I think with all things considered it’s not that bad and should be healed up pretty nicely pretty soon.”
Chris Forsberg: Six-week timeline puts Gordon Hayward on pace to return right before Christmas. Would miss 19 games if he returned in Toronto.
A. Sherrod Blakely: Brad Stevens said #Celtics Gordon Hayward (left hand fracture) had surgery beginning at 5 pm and the team will have update shortly after it is over.
Jared Weiss: Stevens said Hayward started surgery at five but update won’t come til after game. Brad asked for diagnosis: “It’s a broken hand...It was a metatarsal, I’m sure.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Boston’s Gordon Hayward will undergo surgery on his fractured left hand today, agent Mark Bartelstein tells ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Hayward will undergo surgery in New York this afternoon, a timeline on his return will come after the procedure, Bartelstein of @PrioritySports tells ESPN.
Jay King: Brad Stevens said Gordon Hayward is at the doctor’s right now. If surgery is deemed the right option, it would probably be ASAP.
If it is a simple metacarpal fracture, what’s the best-case scenario for something like that generally? Dr, Flynn: With surgery, four weeks is feasible. Surgery can speed things up but the hand surgeon needs to decide if it would be necessary.
What’s the worst-case scenario for Hayward with this type of injury? For instance, Steph Curry is out at least three months after suffering his broken hand and having surgery? Why was that worse? Dr. Flynn: Curry had a second metacarpal fracture that was likely much more complex and possibly involved the joint.
Mark Murphy: Marcus Smart on losing Gordon Hayward: "We love seeing Gordon the way he’s been playing. We love seeing that Gordon. We just all feel so bad for him because he worked so hard to come back from one injury, with all the things he’s been doing, and now this happens."
Chris Forsberg: Brad Stevens on Gordon Hayward to reporters in San Antonio: “Broken hand. No timeline. He’s going to meet with the doctors tomorrow and decide if he needs to do surgery or not. Sounds like, should he decide that, the surgery option might actually be a better timeline.”
Gary Washburn: Hayward headed right to the locker room after taking that Aldridge pick, favoring his right hand. #Celtics #Spurs
Jay King: Gordon Hayward got hit in the elbow during the first half. Brad Stevens said it doesn’t seem like anything big. They thought it was just a bruise on first examination.
Tim Bontemps: Celtics say Aron Baynes and Gordon Hayward are both questionable for tonight’s game against the Spurs, while Jayson Tatum is doubtful after taking a hard fall late in last night’s loss in Charlotte and Al Horford remains out to rest his knee.
Jared Weiss: Horford will rest against Charlotte while Hayward remains out due to his concussion per the team. Baynes remains out, but all 3 could be back Sunday vs. SA.
Steve Bulpett: Stevens on Hayward (concussion protocol): "I don't know if he's officially been ruled out (Saturday v Charlotte), but it's likely that he's out. He felt a lot better the last couple of days, has gone through every progression OK, so we'll see if he's available Sunday."
John Karalis: Brad Stevens says Gordon Hayward has progressed well and might be available tomorrow. Aron Baynes had an MRI that was very encouraging and he might not be out as long as originally feared
Gary Washburn: No Gordon Hayward at #Celtics practice in Charlotte. RJ Hunter and PJ Dozier are here.
September 26, 2020 | 7:47 am EDT Update
Brian Windhorst: The Thunder are beginning to look at a rebuild, which is one of the reasons why Billy Donovan did not stay. So with the expectation this could be a first-time head coach. Some of the names that I’ve heard: David Vanterpool, who is an assistant with the Timberwolves. Adrian Griffin, who’s been a candidate for jobs over the years, recently with Toronto. And watch out for a sleeper candidate: Will Hardy, assistant with the San Antonio Spurs, a lot of people are very high on him.
Brian Windhorst on Rockets’ coaching search: Keep an eye on former Rocket, a guy who won a championship in Houston, Sam Cassell. And if not him, one of the favorites is our colleague here at ESPN, former Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy, in the mix for this job.
Fox is the team’s best chance to accomplish that goal, although McNair has to make a major commitment to the former Kentucky Wildcat this season. League sources have confirmed to NBC Sports California that the Kings, under previous management, already had a discussion with Fox’s representation on an extension. Depending on where the NBA’s final salary cap numbers come in, Fox is eligible for a five-year max money contract worth between $150-180 million. Don’t expect a discounted rate. He will ask for and likely get whatever the maximum is allowed under the collective bargaining agreement.
Ntilikina and Smith both are in the final years of their rookie contracts and haven’t lit the league on fire yet. They have vastly different styles. Ntilikina is a playmaker and defender, while Smith is a scorer and penetrator. Smith has even changed his jersey number to No. 4 — which he wore at North Carolina State. “We’re three days in, so I’m getting to know both guys,’’ Thibodeau said after the third day of voluntary group practices that is part of the NBA’s in-market OTAs for the “Delete 8.’’
“I like what they’ve done so far. They got to continue to work. There’s often times ups and downs for young players. There’s a learning curve they have to go through. Some experiences will be better than others. “They both have had some good moments in the league. You want to build a consistency. And how do you get there? You have to do it through your work. You have to learn from the experiences. And you have to be disciplined. And so, hopefully we can get there this is a very important offseason for both players.”
As it happened, Butler’s hard-nosed approach wasn’t accepted by Minnesota’s ownership, management or their young players. Butler asked to be traded and Thibodeau was soon out of a job. “Butler didn’t like some of the guys’ lack of professionalism,” one NBA source told The Post. “[Jimmy] and Tom had long talks about how to deal with it. When Butler realized it was unsolvable, he lashed out at the organization. His clock was ticking on his prime and didn’t want to waste it and forced his way out. Tommy was telling him to have patience, see it through.”
Boston overcame a 12-point first-half deficit, its largest comeback when facing elimination in 25 years, according to ESPN Stats & Info. “Boston played great in that second half,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “They deserved and earned what they got. We understand how tough it is to win in the playoffs. We did not compete hard enough defensively, and we paid the price for that. But you do have to credit Boston. They played with great force, particularly off the dribble.”
During a huddle in the second half, coach Brad Stevens told his players that, for the first time in several games, they were playing Celtics basketball. Though this was probably obvious to anyone who has watched this conference finals series, it was a powerful statement that spoke to both how much of a departure the Celtics’ recent efforts have been from their ideal selves, and to Boston’s potential to be a two-way monster when the players are confident and aggressive. “He was absolutely right, we didn’t play the way we wanted the whole series,” Theis said. “We didn’t play our defense, we did adjustments and we just went back to our system the way we played all year. Everybody felt comfortable in our system. You could tell in the third quarter everybody was just enjoying being out there.”
Rachel Nichols: Brad Stevens told me at halftime that several players spoke up, talking about how dire the moment was and how they had to save their season. Jayson Tatum was one of them – he just told me he’s proud of how the group responded afterward.
Sean Grande: Brad on the Miami zone…”I hear all the time ‘get the ball to the middle of [it]. When you have Butler, Iguodala and Bam in the middle of the zone that’s how you turn it over. You’ve got to create action before the passes. If you stare at it, they’re going to steal it.”
With a berth in the NBA Finals on the line, Adebayo wanted all the blame for Miami’s ugly second half and the 121-108 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. “I played like s— — bottom line — (and) I can’t,” said Adebayo, who finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, but along with his Heat teammates couldn’t slow the Celtics during a 41-point, third-quarter outburst and couldn’t stop Boston from trimming the Heat’s series lead to 3-2. “I’ll put that game on me,” he continued. “It’s not my teammates’ fault. It’s not my coaches’ fault. It’s me. I missed too many shots I should have made. … I wasn’t being the defensive anchor I should’ve been. I don’t think I was communicating fast enough. I feel like I was a step behind today. I wasn’t a difference-maker today. I didn’t get us into fast enough triggers. That’s on me.”