Celtics

Robb: How Gordon Hayward is finding his role doing the little things

(Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Make no mistake about who was the star of the show was in Friday’s overtime win against the Raptors. Kyrie Irving’s 43-point, 11-assist masterpiece kept his team in the game all night and made him the first Celtic in over 17 years (Antoine Walker) to cross the 40-point, 10-assist threshold in one game. The stat line was even more impressive do the efficiency (18-of-26 FG), putting him as the second player this year to post that type of scoring line while shooting over 69 percent from the field (Kevin Durant).

Irving has been putting together these type of absurd performances for a few weeks now yet it hasn’t meant a ton for the C’s in the win-loss column and that trend was set to continue in the closing minutes of regulation on Friday night. After a travel by Marcus Morris, the Raptors had the ball with a four-point lead with under a minute remaining in regulation.

A comeback is certainly possible in that circumstance, but a number of things have to go just about perfectly on both ends of the floor to close that kind of a gap without lucking out with some missed free throws. The little things need to be taken care of and the man on the scene doing them was the Celtic in greatest need of a confidence boost on Friday night. On a team that is still trying to figure out roles, Gordon Hayward seemed to get a little more comfortable in his against the Raptors and showed a little bit of what made him an All-Star in what may have been the biggest development of the evening for the Celtics amid a crucial win.