Gordon Hayward was not in the starting lineup Monday.
The 28-year-old forward came off the Celtics’ bench in their 117-112 loss to the Hornets in Charlotte. He had started in all 15 of his appearances this season.
Remember all that conversation about no changes in the starting lineup?
Aron Baynes in, Gordon Hayward out.
Irving, Brown, Tatum, Horford, Baynes starting tonight in Charlotte.
— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) November 19, 2018
Hayward shot 1-of-6 from the field and scored four points in 31 minutes of action against Charlotte. Celtics coach Brad Stevens discussed the adjustment with reporters after the game.
“It was more about getting Gordon in the right groups, for him,” Stevens said (via USA Today’s Celtics Wire). “We’re still going to be a work in progress, so, obviously, nothing (is) set in stone with that.
“…It doesn’t change his minutes or rotations as much, but that’s a good sign. I think that we’re probably not done tweaking the lineups.”
Hayward broke his ankle in the first game of 2017-18 and missed the rest of the season. He returned for the 2018-19 season-opener and has averaged 10.1 points and 5.3 rebounds in 26.7 minutes per game.
Hayward said earlier this month he was willing to do whatever the Celtics asked of him.
“For me, I’m happy to be on the court, No. 1 more than anything and, No. 2, whatever I can do to help us win,’’ Hayward said (via the Boston Globe). “I said it before the season, it’s whatever to me.
“We have to figure something out because for whatever reason we’re not playing our best basketball right now.”
Boston was expected to be one of the best teams in the NBA entering the season, but the loss to Charlotte dropped it to 9-8 in 2018-19.