Hayward, Irving and Theis making ‘biggest jumps’ on team ahead of opener

(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The countdown to the regular season opener is on Tuesday night and the Celtics are beginning to show more signs of their former selves according to Brad Stevens.

The Celtics have held five practices since their final preseason tuneup eight days ago in Cleveland and the progress by their returning All-Stars over that span has been noticed across the organization.

"I thought Kyrie and Gordon had a really good week last week," Stevens noted before practice on Sunday. "Probably not all the surprising after both dealing with little setbacks injury-wise. They both had three good days of practice, and I thought those two and Daniel (Theis) stood out as the guys that probably made the biggest jumps in one week. I think that, just like those guys, we haven’t talked about him as much, but it’s different to come back from an injury and have to play, be asked to go full speed right out of the gate. He’s done a good job now of progressing. He had a good week."

Some of their teammates gave the trio a similar vote of confidence after what was an underwhelming preseason for the entire squad.