Does the loss of Gordon Hayward bring Romeo Langford back sooner or later for the Boston Celtics?
Finally finding his groove after two seasons of rehabbing from his leg injury, the Boston Celtics may have lost Gordon Hayward for some time yet again. The team lost Hayward in the first half on Saturday night against the San Antonio Spurs due to a surprise left hand fracture after a run-in with Lamarcus Aldridge.
Aldridge set a pretty solid screen for Dejounte Murray by using the side of his body. When the defending Gordon Hayward made his move towards Murray, his left hand appeared to hit the arm of Aldridge. As the body of Hayward also made impact with his own hand, it forced a “sandwich” with his hand in the middle of both him and Aldridge.
With Hayward out at least two months, or even longer, the Boston Celtics are going to need to replace the production of the small forward for the time being. Hayward is averaging 18.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game this season. With this unfortunate subtraction, one’s thought process may be: Where are the Celtics going to find someone to match Hayward’s production?
After an off-season in which Romeo Langford was returning from injuries, the Boston Celtics sent their first-round draft pick to Maine to start the season with their G-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.
It’s definitely odd for a lottery pick to end up in the G-League, but Langford hasn’t played competitive basketball in a long time, so this move does make sense. His time spent in Maine can certainly help in developing a feel for the way the NBA is played, as Langford missed Summer League and mostly all of preseason.
In his debut with the Maine Red Claws on Saturday night, Langford produced 27 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and an impressive 6 blocks while playing in a team high 33 minutes. The Boston Celtics organization, and their fans, finally saw glimpses of why they drafted Langford 14th overall this past summer.
Brad Stevens is a big fan of Indiana basketball, and probably has had his eyes on the 19-year-old for a long time. Out of the rookie class this season for the Celtics, I think Langford could have the highest ceiling.
Considering the injury to Hayward, Langford’s time in Maine may not be for long. I think Stevens will look to form a rotation built with the guys he currently has in Boston before immediately recalling Langford back to the C’s. The only reason would be to give Langford more time to become more confident in himself as an NBA player.
The Boston Celtics do have some options with Marcus Smart, Daniel Theis, and Grant Williams stepping up more in the absence of Hayward. I think Robert Williams controlling more of the minutes at center will give Theis the flexibility to play more time at the four.