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Is “Is Gordon Hayward back?” back?

Gordon Hayward had a marvelous game last night against the truly dreadful Cavaliers, tying his career-high with 39 points on 16 of 19 shooting (he made all 16 2-pointers), while also scoring the game-clinching basket on the same court in which he snapped his leg two years ago.

It was probably his best game as a Celtic, and it led to some of the most predictable NBA headlines ever: 

Are we really that devoid of nuance? Did no one learn from last year, when, after every decent three-game stretch, Hayward was bombed with ‘safe to say your back, Gordon?’ only to struggle again for the next two weeks?

Isn’t the truth somewhere much closer to -- hey, he may never be the same player he was in Utah, but he’s still smart and talented and capable of having superstar games sometimes?

Imagine how exhausting it must be, after every single 20-plus point game, to have a dozen recorders shoved in your face, and to have a horde of people asking ‘feel good to be back, Gordon?’

What happens if Hayward scores four points on 1 of 11 shooting on Thursday? Or if he shoots 37 percent over the next month? Will he still ‘finally, truly’ be back?


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