The Utah Jazz Will Live and Die By All-Star, Gordon Hayward
It’s about time Gordon Hayward garners an All-Star selection. After seven seasons in the NBA, he’s finally getting the respect he deserves. And if that wasn’t enough, Hayward is leading the Utah Jazz into the playoffs.
With a roster that includes All-Star snub, Rudy Gobert, Hayward has been arguably the biggest weapon on the Utah Jazz roster. He’s been able to carry the team, especially with the limited games played by Derrick Favors and Rodney Hood.[DanielG]
The 2016-17 season has been the best of Hayward’s career. He’s averaging 22.2 points per game, the first time he’s ever averaged 20 or more points in a season. Throw in his 5.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists, and you’ve got one of the most versatile players in all of the NBA.
What many remember most about Hayward is his college career at Butler, most notably the 2010 National Championship game. He was one of the best collegiate basketball players that season, averaging 15.5 points and 8 rebounds.
After two seasons at Butler, Utah took him with the 9th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. As with any lottery selection, most teams expect their draftees to evolve into All-Star players. Hayward has been one of the NBA’S best-kept secrets, and while has never been an All-Star until this most recent season, Utah definitely knows they made the right pick.
The Utah Jazz are going to make the NBA playoffs, it would take a serious collapse for that to not happen. The big question is, “can they win a series?”
For most of Utah’s roster, the playoffs are foreign territory. Unfortunately, Hayward is one of those that doesn’t have the postseason experience. For Utah to be competitive, Hayward is going to need to find his groove rather quickly, because the Utah Jazz will live and die by the play of Gordon Hayward.
Only 26-years-old, Hayward has a lot of time to make numerous All-Star games. He’s in the prime of his career and has shown grown leaps and bounds over the last two seasons. Gordon Hayward is the key to a Utah Jazz playoff run, and, if this season is any indication, he’s up for the challenge.
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