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We can see a lot of Paul Pierce in Gordon Hayward's game this season

As if he hadn't been hurt enough, an anonymous Warriors player calling Gordon Hayward a "liability on both ends of the court" last season had to add additional pain. Fortunately, the physical and emotional pain from the devastating injury and criticism are in the past.


The player we remember from his Utah Jazz days is now on display. After five games and a 4-1 record, the Boston Celtics are benefiting from Gordon resurgence. He is averaging 16.6 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 3.6 APG, while hitting 48% of his field goals and 56% of his 3-pointers. In his All-Star 2016-17 season in Utah, Hayward averaged 21.9 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 3.5 APG, hitting 47% on field goals and 40% on treys.


Gordon is one of the few NBA players capable of handling duties at all five positions on the court. What he may lack in quickness and athleticism, he makes up for it with his clever play and versatility. There is a lot of Paul Pierce in Hayward. The Captain would take his time on most plays - picking apart opponent defenses that never knew if he would go for the long ball, the drive or the assist. Same with Gordon. Both players compete with an unpredictability that drives rival defenders nuts.

We won't be hearing the term "liability" in connection with Gordon this year, and I am thrilled with that. If he can remain injury-free and continue this season's level of play, a long post-season drive suddenly looks much more promising.

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel and Facebook

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