The Boston Celtics appear to be in need of an offensive spark, and Gordon Hayward says he is willing to change his role going forward if that will help provide it.
With the Celtics ranking near the bottom of the NBA in scoring through the early part of the season, head coach Brad Stevens said this week that he is considering making changes to his lineup. That has led to speculation that he could be thinking about removing Hayward from the starting five, and the star forward insists he would have no problem with that.
“For me, I’m happy to be on the court, No. 1 more than anything and, No. 2, whatever I can do to help us win,” Hayward told reporters on Tuesday, via Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. “I said it before the season, it’s whatever to me.”
Hayward, who averaged 21.9 points per game with the Utah Jazz two seasons ago, is averaging just 9.9 points on 39.6 percent shooting this season. He acknowledged that he is off to a slow start as he works his way back from a devastating leg injury.
“There’s obviously a little bit of rust and sometimes you just go through those phases. You go through slumps,” Hayward said. “The shot feels good in practice and looks good and for whatever reason in the game, they’re in and out.”
The good news for the Celtics is they are still one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. Hayward will likely get better as the year progresses, and one of their other star players said before the season that he is also willing to come off the bench if need be. Now might be a good time for Stevens to experiment with some changes.