By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Out of action for the last 12 postseason contests, and with the Celtics trailing their third-round series 2-0, Gordon Hayward returned to action Saturday night, and logged 30 and a half minutes in what finished as a 117-106 victory for the Green.
It was the C’s first game with their full assortment of weapons since Game 1 of their first-round series against the Sixers. And barring something unforeseen, Hayward will remain with the Celtics for the remainder of their 2020 postseason run.
A former unknown due to his wife Robyn’s status (she’s expected to give birth to the couple’s first son any day now), word that Hayward would remain with the team came during the game via ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, and was confirmed by Hayward following the victory.
“We discussed it and we prayed about it,” Hayward, whose original plan included departing the bubble for the birth, acknowledged. “I think it’s probably best if I stay [in Orlando] and help our team.”
The change of plans comes with the Celtics in the middle of their third-round series with Miami, and still trailing two games to one, and with Hayward ‘fortunate’ to spend extra time with his family in Indianapolis while rehabbing his injured ankle.
“I think [I was] a little bit lucky that Robyn was already there in Indy, so I was able to be at home and get great treatment, but that wasn’t in the plan. ” Hayward noted. “Robyn could be having a baby at any point in time. And so it’s probably something I’ll be here. By the time I get back, I might miss the birth if she goes in and she rushes into the hospital.”
(And for what it’s worth, Robyn Hayward took to Instagram to let the world that she hasn’t gone into labor yet, and confirmed that Gordon would not be leaving the bubble to rejoin her for the birth of their son.)
Nevertheless, Celtics coach Brad Stevens seems intent on letting Hayward make his own decision should he change his mind, saying that that would take priority over basketball.
“That’s his decision and I want to leave it at that,” said Stevens. “That’s his decision.”
Hayward scored six points, and added five rebounds, four assists, and three steals in Game 3.