Danny Ainge is playing the role of broadcaster. He’s been sure to give the rest of the NBA a play-by-play on Gordon Hayward’s injury recovery.
The Boston Celtics president of basketball operations has been open about how well Hayward’s ankle injury is progressing since the $127-million man’s recovery started turning a corner while the Celtics emerged as the top team in the Eastern Conference.
Ainge shot up another warning flare with a tweet on Tuesday.
Nope. Not even a little bit.
Ainge reminded the NBA that his Celtics are missing their second best player. And that’s saying something with the way that Jayson Tatum has been playing. Ainge brought attention to the fact that the red-hot Celtics could get reinforcements in the playoffs.
Ainge’s tweet teased photo evidence of something he’s been discussing with regularity. Hayward was phasing out the walking boot already, Ainge said on Dec. 7 during an interview with Boston’s 98.5 The Sports Hub. While Hayward originally said he would not return this season, the forward’s position appears to have changed. Here’s what Ainge told Sirius XM radio on Dec. 17 when asked about Hayward potentially returning for the postseason:
“Gordon – he didn’t rule it out – but we’re all just sort of are not putting any pressure. We’re just letting the course take itself and we’ll see what happens. But he’s coming along quickly.”
With Ainge flaunting Hayward’s recovery on his social media channels, the signs look positive for a Hayward return. At the very least, Ainge is showing signs of optimism.
The NBA postseason is an entirely different animal than the regular season. But if the Celtics begin to look like favorites to emerge from the Eastern Conference Finals, then you can bet they’ll consider putting a healthy Hayward on the court for a championship run.