During the 2017-18 season opener between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers, Gordon Hayward went down with a severe ankle injury halfway through the first quarter of the game. Hayward and the Celtics agreed to a 4-year, $127 million dollar contract this offseason after an All-Star season with the Utah Jazz. They also acquired All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving in the blockbuster trade of the summer with the Cavaliers. This gave this the Celtics a new big three in Hayward, Irving, and returner Al Horford, priming them to potentially take the number one spot in the East again.
This new trio was quickly broken up though with Hayward’s injury, reported to be a fractured left ankle, per league sources. Despite this loss, the Celtics only lost to the powerhouse Cavaliers by three points, with Irving barely missing the overtime-forcing 3-pointer. Sophomore guard Jaylen Brown lead the team in points with 25, rookie Jayson Tatum lead the team in rebounds with 10, and the newest member of the team Kyrie Irving leading in assists with 10. The Celtics forced 17 turnovers while only committing 12 and held almost even in every category with the Cavaliers. The Celtics showed that they are still a high-caliber team even with the loss of Hayward Tuesday night. They look to continue the strong play throughout the rest of the year until Hayward can rejoin them. He is expected to be out until at least after the all-star break.