If Gordon Hayward’s New Year’s resolution was to enhance his explosiveness, then he’s off to a great start.
The Boston Celtics opened the 2019 portion of their season Wednesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Hayward pulled all of his scoring tricks out of the bag during a season-high 35-point performance that helped pave the way to a 115-102 win at TD Garden.
As you can see from his shot chart on the right, Hayward was scoring from all over the court against the Wolves. After missing his first two shots of the game, he went on to make 14 of his final 16 attempts, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range.
What we are mostly going to focus on is that cluster of green dots below the basket. That’s where Hayward showed his greatest signs of improvement.
The most notable struggle for Hayward, post-ankle surgery, has been his ability to burst to the basket. He’s made gradual progress with that as time has gone on, scattering a handful of explosive rim runs throughout the campaign, but nothing like he showed Wednesday night.