It’s taking Gordon Hayward a long time to get back to normal.
Coming off of a serious leg injury in 2017-18, Hayward is having his worst scoring season since his rookie year, putting up 10.6 points per game while shooting 41.6 percent from the floor.
Getting back to 100 percent isn’t easy and Hayward is doing his best to focus on the positive.
“Some days are diamonds. Some days are stones,” the Celtics forward told the Boston Globe. “Sometimes you have a couple of stones in a row. I said it after I had a good game, try not to get too high on the highs or too low on the lows.”
Hayward has had good games this season, including a 35-point effort at the beginning of January. But he has had far more single-digit scoring outings this year than 20-point performances and it has been a cause of disappointment for the All-Star.
“It’s obviously frustrating,” he said “I’ve certainly had shooting slumps in the past. It’s nothing new. You go through stretches like that. I think you move on from a game like this the same way you move on from a really good game.”
The Celtics are in good shape this season with a 31-19 record and a solid leg up on a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but the city of Boston and the team itself certainly expected more from a lineup which featured Hayward, Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Al Horford.
Hayward’s struggles could be part of the disappointing start to the year, but he’s trying to focus on getting back to where he was, or simply, getting closer to where he needs to be.
“I think it’s a process, and I gotta stay patient,” he said. “I gotta put my head down and keep working.”