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|Mana: ||Hayward is also an excellent shooter off screens (83.0 percentile with 1.12 points per possession last season) and one of the better cutters in the league (84.9 percentile with 1.44 points per possession), which would add another interesting wrinkle to Stevens¡¯ motion-based offense NBA Live Mobile Coins. Not only would it give Stevens another weapon to use following timeouts, but also the combination of Horford setting screens on Hayward while Thomas looks to score in isolation would put a lot of pressure on defenses to be engaged one through five.
Where Hayward would make the greatest impact on the Celtics is with his ability to create for himself. Just under half of his made shots last season were unassisted compared to 15.6 percent for Jae Crowder, 32.1 percent for Horford, 32.5 percent for Avery Bradley and 41.2 percent for Marcus Smart. Boston¡¯s dependence on Thomas became a problem in the playoffs when teams started to trap him in the pick-and-roll in an effort to make other players beat them.Horford can create for himself when needed ¡ª he¡¯s been an efficient post-up scorer for many years ¡ª but having someone else who can take some of the pressure off Thomas and be a bigger scoring threat on the wing would make a tremendous difference to their offense. Hayward isn¡¯t an isolation-heavy player, though. Instead, he scores 28.6 percent of his points in the pick-and-roll, where he ranked in the 87.1 percentile with 0.98 points per possession last season.
In addition to improving his finishing at the rim, Hayward¡¯s success in the pick-and-roll is mainly due to him being one of the better pull-up shooters in the NBA. He converted 41.1 percent of his 2-point pull-ups and 41.3 percent of his 3-point pull-ups last season. His effective field goal percentage of 47.0 in those situations was comparable to a number of other All-Stars such as Kawhi Leonard, James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker.That means the Celtics would have two of the best pick-and-roll scorers in the NBA, both of whom are comfortable and capable scorers without the ball in their hands, paired with a highly skilled big man who can pop and roll. As long as they could figure out the balance of who attacks when, the offense has the mechanics to work well. Hayward¡¯s willingness to play power forward, where he logged 30 percent of his minutes last season, only adds to his value. A lineup of Thomas, Bradley, Crowder/Jaylen Brown, Hayward and Horford, for example, would give them shooting at every position and enough playmaking to take whatever the defense gives them.
They¡¯d be able to run a pick-and-roll with Thomas and Horford on one possession, only to then turn Thomas into a shooter while Hayward and Horford take center stage.The Celtics could even run pick-and-rolls with Thomas and Hayward given Hayward¡¯s ability to pop to the perimeter and attack smaller defenders on the block. Hayward has developed into a great wing defender as well. He¡¯s been on a number of defensive-minded Jazz teams in the past ¡ª they ranked No. 3 in defensive efficiency last season after ranking No. 7 the season before ¡ª and his combination of strength and athleticism means he can defend a number of opponents. It helps that he¡¯s been able to play alongside the best rim protector in the NBA, but he¡¯d be paired with another great defensive center in Horford.
Assuming the Celtics don¡¯t have to part ways with Bradley and Crowder to acquire Hayward, they¡¯d continue to have the backcourt defenders they need to match up with the league¡¯s top guards and to Buy NBA Live Coins forwards.To be clear, the Celtics probably aren¡¯t a better team than the Cavaliers with Hayward on their current roster, but they would go from being arguably the weakest No. 1 seed in NBA history to the unquestioned second best team in the Eastern Conference that would still be in the running for the No. 1 seed. Hayward would make a top-10 offense scarier, and he would solve a lot of the problems they faced on that end of the floor against Bulls, Wizards and Cavaliers in the playoffs.