Utah Jazz: Gordon Hayward
This is not a typo: Gordon Hayward dunks on The Greek Freak and a stare down pic.twitter.com/Az3lhpp5JR
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) February 25, 2017
Ever so quietly, Hayward has put up superstar numbers in Utah this season. He’s averaging 23.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists per 36 while putting up a 23.1 PER and +7.6 net rating.
Without any playoff experience, its tough to say how Hayward, Gobert, Rodney Hood or head coach Quin Snyder will respond to the higher level of competition exhibited in the postseason. But we do know Hayward will have the ball in his hands come crunch time.
He leads the team in usage rate, PER and scoring. The Jazz signed him to a $62 million deal a few years ago, which was viewed skeptically at the time, and will face a franchise-altering decision as to whether or not they max him out this summer should Hayward decline a player option.
Whether he proves to be a star during the postseason will have a great impact, not just on Utah’s chances of advancing but on that decision.