Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Oh Danny, you master provocateur.
In my non-medical opinion Hayward’s ankle looks a bit puffy but otherwise beautiful. And that smile is a killer.
Ainge’s tweet got me so worked up that I splurged (Red’s Army’s finance department never disappoints) on a BSJ subscription to read Dr. Jess Flynn’s take:
Q: Celtics fans are obviously really excited about Danny Ainge’s picture showing Gordon Hayward without a brace today at the pool. Can we really take anything from it in regards to his recovery, if he’s actually moving around without a brace now?
Dr. Flynn: I still think he is right on schedule, and that’s not a negative thing in this situation. These athletes, they all want to be ahead of schedule, because they’re used to being ahead of everyone else. They want to beat the record for healing time too. In this case, there is actual bone that is healing, hardware that’s scarred in. I think he’s right on schedule. Being by a pool, potentially doing rehab, of course he’s not going to be able to wear a brace in a pool, but just being able to bear weight without a brace I think is a big thing. I mean, I think they definitely wanted to publicize it. It shows he’s doing very well in his recovery, and he’s sort of right on track.
The next big hurdle, and I don’t know when it will be — probably within the next few weeks — he’ll start some jogging and running, if he hasn’t already. Then, it will just be a gradual progression back into things like that changing direction, jumping, landing on just that ankle because that’s how the injury happened.
Q: Based on what you saw today, have your expectations of when he might be able to play changed at all?
Dr. Flynn: Not really. I said 4-to-6 months all along was sort of the fastest (he could return), and that was getting us around the late March into April timeframe.
It’s not crazy to think that – barring setbacks – Hayward will be healthy enough to play come Spring. He could use the final two weeks of the regular season to work himself back into game shape. Just imagine how much better the second unit will look with Hayward contributing for 15-20 minutes.
On Page 2, Chris Mannix is all-in on the Celtics.
Boston’s threat to them this year is real. Boston right now would beat them in a seven game series.
Boston’s defense is night and day compared to what the Cavaliers are. And the Celtics are getting better. And I’m not so sure when I look at the Cavaliers that I see them getting that much better before the end of the season. Yes Isaiah Thomas is going to improve them offensively, but what is their problem? They were the third best offensive team in the NBA when Isaiah Thomas came back. Their problem is that Minnesota’s blowing them out. That Orlando’s putting 127 on them. I know the playoffs are different, the game slows down. Can you trust Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown? These are valid. I trust Jayson Tatum. I trust Jayson.
This Boston team is better because of their defensive versatility. The pick and roll is the bread and butter play in today’s NBA, right. Everybody runs it Boston switches everything. They might be the only team in the league that at certain times during a game, they can switch 1 through 5. So it’s not going to be one guy and LeBron. It’s going to be, OK I’m going to switch Brown with Tatum. We’re going to switch Brown with Horford. It’s not perfect, but they play– they have more defensive versatility than any team in basketball. And that’s going to be a real asset against the Cavs.
Amen, Chris Mannix. I know some Cleveland fans are going to tout Mannix as a Boston guy but we know he’s far from a homer and never hesitated to criticize the Celtics.
The Cavs have the 29th ranked defensive. Check out this list of NBA champions and tell me if any team that bad on the defensive end has won it all?
And finally, let’s watch Jaylen Brown casually throw down some sweet dunks.
The rest of the links
Globe – Celtics aren’t lagging in 1st London practice | For Theis, London trip means family reunion | Herald – Break benefits sore-kneed Horford | Cs all in on London experience | Mass Live – Brown believes fasting helped him become stopper | NBC Sports – Morris free of minutes restriction