BOSTON (CBS) — Gordon Hawyard has left the NBA bubble.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens announced Sunday that Hayward, who is out for at least four weeks after suffered a Grade 3 ankle sprain in Boston’s Game 1 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, left Orlando, Florida on Friday. The C’s forward plans to return to the bubble when he is closer to a return.
“The plan of attack, from what I’ve been told, is when he’s closing in on being ready to play, he’ll be back,” Stevens said Sunday.
Leaving the bubble will allow Hayward to be with his family while he’s out. His wife is expecting their fourth child in September, and Hayward was planning on leaving the bubble to be at the birth.
Hayward suffered the injury late in Game 1, and isn’t expected to be back in action until at least the Conference Finals, should the Celtics make it that far. Boston is currently up 3-0 on the 76ers in the first round, and will go for the sweep Sunday afternoon.
Hayward had his best regular season with the Celtics in 2019-20, averaging 17.5 points on 50 percent shooting to go with 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists. He had 12 points and four rebounds in Game 1 before leaving with the injury, after averaging 18.7 points and 7.7 rebounds in his seven “seeding games” ahead of the playoffs.
Marcus Smart has taken over Hayward’s spot in the Boston starting lineup.