In-and-out dribble moves. Pull-up jumpers from beyond the 3-point arc. Step-backs. Fadeaways.
Gordon Hayward is on his way back to NBA action.
The Celtics swingman, who suffered a devastating ankle injury on opening night of the 2017-18 season, posted a video on Instagram that shows promising results from his long rehabilitation. Even more encouraging is Hayward's message:
After becoming an all-around All-Star with the Utah Jazz, Hayward signed with Boston after the Celtics landed Kyrie Irving in a trade with Cleveland. Hayward, however, missed most of the season, while Irving was also limited by knee troubles that ultimately required surgery. Even without two of their big-name talents, the Celtics advanced to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
James has since departed to the Lakers, leaving the Eastern Conference crown up for grabs to a different star/team for the first time since 2010. With Hayward and Irving potentially healthy for the 2018-19 campaign, Boston is considered one of the favorites to emerge as the conference's new contenders for the NBA title.