Typically, it’s not ideal for a team to lose one of its best players.
But that’s not stopping Danny Ainge from trying to see the bright side of things.
During Saturday’s win over the San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward broke his hand. He was turning to defend a player driving to the net late in the second quarter, but in doing so he ran right into LaMarcus Aldridge, which caused the injury. He underwent surgery Monday and is expected to miss roughly six weeks.
For Ainge though, it’s not all doom and gloom. The Boston Celtics president of basketball operations appeared Thursday on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich,” and he shared what he finds to be the “only bummer” about the situation with Hayward.
“I think that (Hayward’s injury is) a good opportunity for the guys on our team right now,” Ainge said, via NBC Sports Boston. “And then when Gordon comes back, trying to fit that back in is sometimes a challenge just when he returns to play.
“That’s the only bummer about it. We were really developing — there’s been a lot of talk about chemistry on this team and they’re great kids, but they’re really figuring each other out on the court, too.
“So, now that takes a little bit of a step back, and you try to reinvent the rotations and reinvent everything when you lose a significant player like that.”
Ainge certainly has a point. Following a devastating injury in 2017, when Hayward returned the next season he struggled to be effective and in turn find a fit in the lineup. Things are different now given Hayward has delivered some vintage performances, but nevertheless, the Celtics could be in a pinch, albeit an enviable one, when Hayward comes back.