Hayward’s injury opened new door for Celtics

New York

Gordon Hayward’s misshapen foot injury, a fractured left tibia, turned into a lucky break for everyone except him. His unavailability for this season after its opening 5 ½ minutes, created guaranteed ample opportunity and unavoidable responsibility for several seemingly celestial Celtics who seized the chance to gain inescapable recognition, advancing and accelerating the normal permissible process.

Nobody’s slightly surprised by the stack of skills exhibited by Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier (well, he may have caught the demi-clueless by surprise), or the leadership of musher Kyrie Irving.

But it’s positively stunning, by all accounts, to see a hastily reorganized team of toddlers — having four-fifths of last season’s lineup disassembled at Danny Ainge’s plant over the summer — harpooned by Hayward’s injury in Game 1, and still shell shocked in Game 2, dramatically recoup from such trauma to conquer the next 14 opponents, concluding with the defending champion Warriors as Hayward offered support behind the bench for the first time.

Full column available at: patreon.com/petervecsey

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