Boston Celtics recorded a victory over Philadelphia 76ers 109-101 in their favor in Game 1 of 2019-20 NBA Playoffs. It was a bittersweet victory for the Celtics as they lost shooting forward Gordon Hayward, who scored 12 points, in the final few minutes of the game. After an awkward fall on his right ankle, while contesting for a rebound, Hayward left the game and didn’t return.
What could be the final playoff run for Gordon Hayward with the Boston Celtics, might get cut short due to this right ankle sprain. He has been on injury alert ever since the gruesome ankle break in 2017 vs Indiana Pacers. Hayward has not been his old self post-surgery. But to the delight of Celtics fans, The Atlantic’s Shams Charania reported that Gordon Hayward has suffered a Grade 3 ankle sprain which means he won’t miss the playoffs entirely.
Significant, Grade 3 ankle sprain for Gordon Hayward. Celtics say he is expected to miss four weeks. His recovery will surely be based on how swelling and pain reduces over few weeks. https://t.co/SjdaeT66VQ
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 18, 2020
Currently, he is prescribed 4 weeks of rehab and his recovery will be based on how swelling and pain reduces over the weeks. Losing a starter in the first round of playoffs will certainly affect the Boston Celtics in the long run. However, if they survive round 1 against already short-handed Philadelphia 76ers and possibility the second round then they will l have Hayward back in eastern conference finals.
Celtics and Sixers went back and forth as Gordon Hayward went down
It was a well-contested victory for the Boston Celtics, who are expected to emerge victorious over the Philadelphia 76ers in the series. Jayson Tatum recorded a 32-point, 13-rebound double-double in the first game of NBA Playoffs. The second-best offensive weapon for Celtics was all-star caliber player Jaylen Brown. This two-way guard scored 29 points, 4 assists, and 3 steals to conclude the game.
In addition to losing Ben Simmon in the seeding games, the sheer number of turnovers the Sixers committed cost them this game. Their leading scorer Joel Embiid had 26 points, 16 rebounds, and 2 steals but 5 turnovers. Most players on the Sixers roster had double-digit scores, however, it was not enough to beat the Boston Celtics.
After a rough start in the first quarter, the Boston Celtics dominated throughout the first half. They maintained the lead up until the end of third quarter when Al Horford came up big for the Philadelphia 76ers. Boston Celtics trailed behind for the most part in the fourth quarter but Kemba Walker came to the rescue with a little under 3 minutes left. That’s when Gordon Hayward went down. While it may not be a championship threatening injury for the Celtics, it will definitely take a toll on their defense.
Ben Simmons is projected to be out for the remainder of 2019-20 NBA season after suffering subluxation, or partial dislocation, of his left patella. This injury can cost Sixers their Championship hopes.