hree days before his 30-point outpouring against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday, Gordon Hayward was red and furious at the Boston Celtics’ training facility in Brighton.
The Celtics were embroiled in one of their toughest practices of the season, and they were poking and prodding at Hayward — “fouling him and s—” as Marcus Morris put it.
“He just got red at one point,” Morris said. “He was really upset. He was going really hard.”
The catalyst (predictably) was Marcus Smart, according to Morris. The Celtics’ chief instigator got tangled up with Hayward, and Hayward was quietly boiling.
The results were eye-opening. Brad Stevens said the practice let him know Hayward had a big performance was coming. Kyrie Irving said he knew Hayward had “that ticker inside him.” Morris said Hayward started getting out in transition and dunking in ways the Celtics had yet to see since he joined the team.
“Any time Smartie gets tangled up with somebody, it’s good,” Morris said smiling.
“I’ve been waiting to see that side of (Hayward) for a little bit now.”