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Gordon Hayward’s goal this season ‘Win the whole thing’


CAMBRIDGE – There’s a clear an undeniable finish line for Gordon Hayward as he continues down the road to recovery.

Hayward, who was lost for all of last season following a gruesome left ankle injury five minutes into the season opener at Cleveland, expects to be back on the floor playing 5-on-5 basketball next month.

“I’m just about full speed,” said Hayward who was in town as part of a Comcast preview of Activision’s “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4” video game, which will be out October 12. “And as with everything, see how my ankle reacts to that. So, I’ll go and test it out and see where it is. I feel a lot better after the second surgery. I’m excited to get back out on the court.”

Here’s more from an exclusive 1-on-1 interview with Hayward who is a big-time gamer and a really nice guy, but showed absolutely no mercy in blasting my ass to smithereens repeatedly in Black Ops 4 on Thursday night.

HAYWARD ON THE SECOND SURGERY …

“Everything happened so fast. Literally, I did a test and found out … and the next five minutes he said we should probably get the plate out. Scheduled it (surgery) for later that night. It was fast. I had no time to think about it.

MORE HAYWARD ON THE SECOND SURGERY …

“It was really good. After that surgery, my ankle felt tons better immediately afterwards. I kind of set my sights and moved forward.”

HAYWARD ON MARCUS SMART’S RETURN …

“We’re running it back. We got just about everybody back and that’s really exciting for me. I had a front row seat to all the games. I had a chance to be around the guys. I didn’t get a chance to be on the court. For me to be able to play with them next year … Marcus Smart brings so much stuff to the table for us. He’s a winner. It’ll be fun to play with all those guys next year.”

HAYWARD ON THE EXPECTATIONS WITH NO LEBRON JAMES IN THE EAST AND SO MANY KEY CELTICS, INCLUDING HIMSELF, BACK …

“We’re going to try to win the whole thing. That’s what our goal is; that’s where our goal should be. We have the talent to do it. I think for us, it’s … hopefully we keep everybody healthy. For me, I’m going to be focused on training camp, getting through that first practice. It’s been so long for me to even be out on the court. I’m very excited about where we can go next year.

HAYWARD ON REGULAR SEASON GAMES HE’S LOOKING FORWARD TO PLAYING …

“For me, just everybody. It seems like forever since I played. The NBA has shifted again with guys going different places. I’m excited to play everybody.”

ON KAWHI LEONARD IN TORONTO …

“We were all waiting to see what was going to happen with that; it’s been a wild story. He’s going to make them a better team. They lose a guy in DeMar (DeRozan) who is extremely talented and get another guy in Kawhi who is talented too. They’re gonna be a little bit different. There are other teams in the East that are going to take a steps (forward) with more experience, some of the younger teams will be better. Everyone is writing the East off, but I think it’ll be a tough East.”

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