Less than six minutes into opening night and the first major injury that will alter a season occurred.
Six minutes into his Celtics debut, Gordon Hayward fractured his left ankle attempting to go for a lob pass between two defenders.
The injury was gruesome. It was devastating blow for NBA fans to witness. The injury was a reminder of Paul George’s leg injury playing for Team USA and Kevin Ware while playing for Louisville.
Every player knew immediately what happened and how severe the injury was. The players could probably here the bone “crack” when Hayward hit the floor.
Look closely at the Cavs bench as they react to seeing Hayward’s leg.
Players were in disbelief and in shock. Hard to blame them. Injuries like this are so severe it makes humbles everyone. It shows how one play can change your whole season and possibly your whole career.
The injury derailed most of of the buzz of the game despite it’s awesome finish. Fans on twitter were saying they wish they could “start the season over”. The sentiment probably rings true to every player on the court last night. It was complete devastation for all those watching last night.
The Celtics are now going to be left scrambling. Hayward is out for the season and the Celtics are now extremely thin on the wing. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are both extremely young and inexperienced. Yes, they are very talented but it’s hard to count on a rookie and a second year player as your only wing options for an 82 game season plus playoffs.
Expectation is that the Celtics may seek help in the trade market to help solidify depth if they want to remain competitive in the East. Players such as Courtney Lee (Knicks), Marco Belinelli (Hawks), Mo Harkless (Trailblazers), Corey Brewer (Lakers), and Jared Dudley (Suns) are all names that will likely be available in a potential deal. Clearly, their talent does not match Hayward but will provide short term security to help the bench.
In the meantime, Prayers up to Gordon Hayward! Hate to see injuries happen and here’s hoping to a speedy recovery!