The Boston Celtics opened the regular season poorly, with back-to-back losses to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks.
In the first game on Oct. 17 in Cleveland, the Celtics lost 102-99 to LeBron James and the Cavaliers. In the first quarter, the C’s saw star small forward Gordon Hayward go down with a horrific lower leg injury and not return. The Celtics were led by Jaylen Brown with 25 points, Kyrie Irving had 22 points in his first game as a Celtic, and Jayson Tatum netted 14 points and snatched 10 rebounds his NBA debut. James’ 29 points accompanied 16 rebounds to lead the way for Cleveland.
On Oct. 18, the Celtics faced the Bucks in their home opener which resulted in a 108-100 loss to Giannis Antetokounmpo and crew. Brown once again lead the way with 18 points, and Irving followed closely behind with 17. Tatum again lead the team in rebounds with nine. Again, though, the C’s could not stop the opponent’s best player as Antetokounmpo filled up the stats sheet with 37 points and 13 rebounds on the way to a Bucks win.
Gordon Hayward injured in first game
Small forward Gordon Hayward suffered a gruesome injury in the first quarter of the season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was stretchered off of the court with his foot, ankle and leg wrapped.
Coach Brad Stevens spoke about the injury to reporters after the game.
“From what I was told it was a dislocated ankle and a fracture, what is it a tibia down there? Whatever the bone is in the leg,” Stevens said. “So the doctors here have looked at it, our doctors have looked at it, and we’ll know a lot more (when) he goes straight to the hospital when he gets home.”
Hayward’s father tweeted at approximately 6:27 p.m. on Oct. 18 that Gordon was undergoing surgery that was reportedly supposed to last two or three hours.
The Celtics would not provide a timetable for his return, though an expert opinion said an injury of this kind has the best case scenario of a return in four to six months, per WCVB.
Marcus Smart, Celtics can’t reach deal
The C’s and guard Marcus Smart could not agree to terms on an extension before the deadline on Monday Oct. 16, according to Bleacher Report. He is set to become a restricted free agent after this season.
Smart was the number six overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, and has been a strong defensive member of the backcourt. Opponents shot 1.9 percent worse than their normal averages when Smart guarded them last season, according to NBA.com. Smart is also the longest tenured Celtic, and so it should be interesting to see how his Free Agency after the season plays out.
The Celtics head down to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers on Friday, Oct. 20.
Next 7 days at a glance
Friday, Oct. 20, at 7 pm @ Philadelphia 76ers
Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. v.s New York Knicks