After a 3 point 1-8 shooting and 0-2 from the line first half against New Orleans, Gordon Hayward got back on track by going 8-10 and finishing with a game high 23 points and propelling the Jazz to a must win game. Since the All-Star break Hayward has shot a staggering 44% from the three point line while averaging 16.3 points a game. He defends positions 1-4 better than anyone on the Jazz. He brings energy and the team stands behind him whether he is vocally being a leader or just leading by example. Hayward is determined and has the ability to be the best shooting guard/small forward that Jazz have ever had.
Every year Hayward has progressed, but I’m more interested to see how he rebounds from his awful opening playoff series. Jazz need to make the playoffs just for the reason of confidence and progression. Another four games against the Spurs (hopefully more) would do wonders for Hayward and for the other young guys as well. David Locke posted on http://sulia.com/channel/utah-jazz/f/dcae96ed-126b-4207-bbe7-6a0b78345d9f/?source=fb about Hayward’s numbers and how he has affected both the bench and the starters and the numbers are incredible. If he continues to do make the impact that he makes I don’t see how you can keep him from playing 40 minutes a night. He does everything and not many players in the NBA and especially on the Jazz do everything. He defends, he scores, he passes and he helps the helper which Jazz have struggled with all year.
Jazz fans have said that they wish we drafted Paul George and yeah Paul is a great player and has mad athleticism, however Hayward is not a worse player. George has played almost 1000 more minutes this year and per 48 the two actually are almost identical except for Hayward is a better shooter and George is a better rebounder. Next year Hayward should be getting the same minutes that George gets and George made the All-star team this year so Jazz potentially have an All-star of their own on the team and no it’s not Sap or Al.
Here’s a look at Hayward’s numbers for his career: (Another progression next year like this one will have Hayward posting all-star numbers)
|Regular Season Averages|