In case you missed it, this year's Independence Day was quite the holiday for NBA fans as one of the most shocking "Woj bombs" came pulsing through the basketball world and Twittersphere as Gordon Hayward, the Jazz star, announced with a letter through The Player's Tribune that he would be signing with the Boston Celtics. Hayward's decision to leave the Jazz was first reported by ESPN's Chris B. Haynes. At first, it was reported he had made the decision, then several reports came out that Hayward's inner circle had not yet made a decision. It was not until later that Hayward would indeed sign with the Celtics.

It was just last year on July 4, that Kevin Durant announced his independence from the Oklahoma City Thunder to join the Golden State Warriors.

Hayward followed his footsteps in taking a leap of faith, ready for the backlash that came with his decision to join a team in the Celtics that is competing for a championship.

Now, this begs the question...

Does Hayward vault the Celtics over the Cavs as the East's best team?

Hayward is an exceptional player, who for the first time, made the All-Star team this past season. With his shooting and scoring output increasing each season since Quin Snyder became the Jazz coach in 2011, he will help the Celtics with their occasional scoring droughts. Boston had trouble scoring against Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Finals, succumbing to them in five games. With Hayward's ability to get to the rim, shoot floaters and stop and pop mid-range jumpers, he gives Brad Stevens another scoring option along with star guard Isaiah Thomas, who had to be brilliant at times for the Celtics to win.

Hayward gives the Celtics the luxury of taking advantage of smaller players such as Kyrie Irving and J.R. Smith and taking them to task. On the defensive side of the ball, Coach Stevens will probably have him defend one of the weaker offensive players such as Smith and have Jae Crowder or Marcus Smart guard LeBron James.

It is difficult to say if Hayward would be able to put the Celtics over the top against the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference as he is just one player. That only works if a player is someone like Kevin Durant, one of the best players in the world playing on one of the greatest teams ever assembled.

How can the Celtics beat the Cavs with Hayward?

The Celtics will need a collective effort on both sides of the ball in order to beat the Cavaliers to reach the Eastern Conference. Defensively will be most important in a team effort in taking down an elite Cavs team. The Celtics have to attempt to limit the Cavs offensive attack and hand the keys to the car to Thomas and Hayward on offense to help lead the Celtics past the Cavaliers.

The Celtics need to run screens for Gordon Hayward to get him in his spots offensively and once he gets the ball on the wing, use a pick-and-roll and Hayward can decide if he wants to pass or drive in. These pin-down screens will also free up Hayward for jumpers. Brad Stevens could also implement a Thomas-Hayward to bend the defense and use his two best players in one of the NBA's most basic, but nearly unstoppable plays.

On defense, Hayward needs to guard a player that does not come around screens much or is not a real offensive threat. This would help conserve Hayward's legs for the offensive end, the most important end of the floor for the Celtics against the Cavaliers.

Follow the page NBA
Follow
Follow the page Boston Celtics
Follow
Don't miss our page on Facebook!