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90'sNBARocked
12-13-2011, 11:19 AM
https://www.deseretnews.com/article/700206516/Gordon-Hayward-Second-year-Utah-Jazz-swingman-shows-plenty-of-promise.html?pg=1


SALT LAKE CITY — Mention Butler basketball, and one name will pop up in the ensuing conversation.

Gordon Hayward.

No offense to Matt Howard, Ronald Nored or other Bulldogs, current and past, but Hayward is as synonymously tied to the Indianapolis-based university as The Jimmer is with BYU.

Water-cooler question of the day is: Could the Hoosier State hero's name eventually be linked in similar fashion with the Utah Jazz?

Rephrased, is this 21-year-old — whose selection sent boos general manager Kevin O'Connor's way on Draft Day 2010 — capable of becoming face-of-the-franchise material?

Hayward blushes when you ask him.

"I don't think that I look at it like that," a humble Hayward said. "I just look at it as (I'm) a basketball player trying to help his team improve, help his team win — hopefully just being more consistent this year, being more of a contributor."

Ahhh. Sweet music to his team's ears.

Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin would love nothing more than for Hayward to be one of many squad standouts.

"The ceiling's as hard as he works. He's an extremely talented cat," Corbin said. "I think he's relaxed a lot more this year. He knows what he's facing this year. Last year, it was kind of eyes wide open, and it was different things, different nights. He has a better feel of what's ahead of him now."

That future makes Earl Watson smile.

"His potential's unlimited," the veteran said. "I think Gordon's the type of player, he's so skilled and so unselfish, he just wants to make everyone better. We need Gordon to be that player who takes that next step."

He's not trying to turn Hayward into an overnight superstar, but Watson believes, even expects, the young Jazz guard-forward is capable of following a similar improvement trajectory as his old Seattle/Oklahoma City teammate, Kevin Durant.

Erratic rookie year. Breakout sophomore season. Force uniform makers to reprint No. 20 Hayward jerseys.

Or something like that.

Watson isn't dishing out an empty stardom guarantee or predicting MVP-like numbers for Hayward. He just has an optimistic opinion of a potential-packed player.

"KD's rookie year, I seen him just go crazy like the way Gordon did last year," Watson said. "That next year is when KD really became KD. And that third year is when he just became one of the best players in the NBA, and those are the same progressive steps and mentality that I think Gordon should have."

O'Connor didn't bite when asked if he thought Hayward has go-to-guy promise. But the Jazz GM revisited receiving Bronx cheers by disgruntled Jazz fans at a draft party after he picked the Butler star No. 9 overall in 2010.



But O'Connor also sent high praise Hayward's way: "He makes good basketball decisions and he can also score. A lot of times, those are guys you want with the ball either late in the clock or late in the game."

Heady hoopsters with clutch skills are also the kind of guys marketing staffs put on billboards and posters.
*****

Hayward wasn't a big name or big player so many Jazz fans hoped to acquire with a rare lottery selection the team received from the New York Knicks via a trade.



O'Connor shared his wish after/while they voiced their dissatisfaction with the pick 18 months ago.

"The only thing I hope is in two years you're not booing," he said.

Only 10 months later, Jazz fans, now disgruntled for other reasons (read: departures of Jerry Sloan and Deron Williams), were doing the opposite. Cheering loudly.

Outplaying Kobe Bryant in L.A., dropping 34 on Denver in the season-finale and averaging almost 15 points down the stretch turned Hayward into a fan favorite.

The rookie even won over a fan in Los Angeles.

"I'm very, very fond of him. He's a very skilled all-around player," said Bryant after Hayward's 22 points lifted Utah to a one-point Staples Center win in April. "I think he is going to have a very bright future in this league. (Hayward) reminds me of a more talented Jeff Hornacek. Jeff couldn't put the ball on the floor as well as he can."

Hornacek wasn't offended. He agreed with Kobe, and not only because Hayward has functioning knees.

"I think he'll end up being better than I was," the Jazz assistant said. "(Hayward)'s got the height, length. He knows how to play the game. He makes the smart plays. He can finish. The shooting, obviously he works on it and he shoots it pretty well now.

"I think Kobe's right ... he's got more potential to do a lot better than I did just because of size and athleticism."

Another thing might help him end up being a player whose skills and contributions are listed somewhere between "Better than Hornacek" and "Durant-like superstar:" Hayward's drive.

Fans, media and fellow NBA players might point out his successes — a 19-point game in Sacramento, a 5-for-5 3-point night against Minnesota, hitting double figures in five of the final six games, successfully catching a high heater from Deron Williams.

But Hayward is so motivated to elevate his level, he focuses on lowlights — perhaps the 33 games he didn't score in, maybe going 1-for-10 against OKC, feeling lost for part of his first year, doing what he did to frustrate his former teammate with the rocket arm.

Yes, he averaged 9.1 points and 25.8 minutes after the All-Star break. But he only averaged 3.6 points and 12.8 minutes the first half. He ran wrong plays on occasion, yet dazzled (see: dunks at Indiana and L.A.) at other times.

"You hope to use that (strong finish) and gain from that, take some of that and use it as confidence," Hayward said. "I'm more focused on improving from the games that I didn't do that well, making those better and being more consistent."

Steady success is more likely to be found thanks to increased belief from that late push and a bigger comfort level now that his pink-backpack-carrying year is over.

"He's more relaxed," Corbin said. "His confidence level is a little bit up now. He's not wondering if he belongs. He knows he can play in this league now."

Hayward, who averaged 5.4 points and 1.9 boards, got better with time, O'Connor said. He learned lessons with the passing of the calendar and performed better with more minutes. Hayward's cautiousness to not make mistakes — at the risk of making good plays —decreased with increased opportunity.

"He was trying to figure out what not to do instead of what to do for a while," O'Connor said. "Once he figured out what to do … you saw a vast improvement. He wasn't afraid to make a mistake because he'd done two or three good things."

An 11-year vet, Watson's advice for the second-year swingman is simple: "I just want to encourage him to be aggressive offensively."

Like the time Hayward jumped off his wrong foot, lost and regained the ball in-air and slammed L.A.

"That was tough," he said. "That's something Gordon can do and he can do more of."

As long as he's assertive.

"Gordon's such an unselfish player ... (and) has to learn to be more selfish offensively scoring the ball, and he has the ability and skill to do it," Watson said. "He's so talented and so quick, way more athletic than people think."
*****

When word got out this summer that Hayward had become a professional video-game player, some people got the wrong impression.

The 21-year-old didn't sit in his parents' basement shooting pixelized bad guys 24/7. He didn't live on a Cheetohs and energy drinks diet.

Becoming a futuristic human and alien warrior wasn't his only offseason focus.

Rather, Hayward was a two-game standout who honed skills in both of his professional ventures. Kinda like the Deion Sanders of the NBA and pro video-gaming.

Minus the doo-rag.

And with priorities straight.

"Basketball player first," he said.

Sure, Hayward had ample time for his StarCraft game while locked out, but he didn't just improve his thumbs' dexterity. He worked out the rest of his body twice a day, hooping in Indiana gyms, doing explosion drills with bungee cords for quickness and, yes, pumping iron.

The daily devotion's results: 10-plus pounds of muscle. His matured 6-foot-8 frame now weighs 220, up from a rookie listing of 207. He's even got some guns — no controller needed.

"I think it will help him tremendously," Corbin said.

Hayward can hold a better line to the basket. He can use shoulder shrugs to drop defenders instead of being pushed around. His driving balance has improved. He can guard bigger players.

The Jazz's 3-point-shooting leader from last season didn't Popeye up enough to lose his outside touch. His shot remains on the verge of becoming deadly.

"You don't want to get too big where you lose some of the stuff you have," Hayward said. "It's all just being out there and playing and making sure you're continually on the court."

Sounds like a future game plan the Jazz would love to follow.

"At this point (last year), Gordon was still in awe of being in the NBA," Hornacek said. "Especially with the way the season ended, he (now) knows that he's a big player in this league, and he can be. That will help his confidence."

Could boost his marketability, too.

crunk-juice
12-13-2011, 11:20 AM
sweet title

Mono
12-13-2011, 11:47 AM
The Deseret News isn't doing Hayward any favors by repeatedly mentioning Kevin Durant. He'll never be that kind of player. The Hornacek comparison was a better one. I think a much better comparison for what Hayward could become is a Ginobili type player.

And I know it was Watson who mentioned KD -- but the article kept hammering it. I don't think he intended to compare the two players.

Dr. Awesome
12-13-2011, 12:11 PM
Sadly we got stuck with Paul George...

/green font

graphic-er
12-13-2011, 12:26 PM
I like Paul George alot, but he's no Gordon Hayward. I think Hayward is going to have a break out year. I just think he has a much more well rounded game than Paul George.

Mono
12-13-2011, 01:08 PM
I think he's better than George at a few things and I think that George is better than him at a few things. For instance, George is a better defender and Hayward is a better passer. Ultimately I don't think they're very similar players. George has more star potential in the league because he plays a more exciting brand of basketball.

Dr. Awesome
12-13-2011, 08:51 PM
I like Paul George alot, but he's no Gordon Hayward. I think Hayward is going to have a break out year. I just think he has a much more well rounded game than Paul George.

Your absolutely correct, Paul George is no Gordon Hayward.

Also, Micheal Jordan was no Bobby Phills.

pacer4ever
12-13-2011, 09:01 PM
Alec Burks is gonna have a much better year than Hayward IMO he is the better player between the 2. Alec Burks has the potential to be a closer in late game situations IMO he was the steal of this draft IMO along with my man Reggie Jackson.

Hayward just doesn't have a lot of upside IMO. Should be a decent role player but not much more imo.

Ace E.Anderson
12-13-2011, 09:35 PM
I like Paul George alot, but he's no Gordon Hayward. I think Hayward is going to have a break out year. I just think he has a much more well rounded game than Paul George.

Aside from passing, what exactly does Hayward do better than George?

Mono
12-13-2011, 09:54 PM
Aside from passing, what exactly does Hayward do better than George?

Shoot.

graphic-er
12-13-2011, 09:57 PM
Aside from passing, what exactly does Hayward do better than George?

Better instincts, better court vision, better shooter, better handle, I could even argue Hayward is a better defender as well. He was chasing down fast breaks all year and blocking them.

Honestly about the one thing I would say George is better than Hayward is overall athleticism, but that didn't stop Hayward from posterizing George last year.

I know the biased here will call me crazy, but I just call em like I see em. I like Paul George alot and he will be a good player, I just not selling Hayward short like everyone else on this board.

FrenchConnection
12-13-2011, 10:00 PM
Why do we have this debate on here so much? Its not like we passed Hayward over for George. He was gone one pick before. I would argue that both teams got really good value for that late in the lottery.

PacerHound
12-13-2011, 10:07 PM
I just not selling Hayward short like everyone else on this board.

I hope you do not include me as one who is selling Hayward short. This board has kind of made Paul George a super star before he has even become a star or even an above average player (my opinion). We probably ought to give George, Hayward, and I will include Hansbrough, a break and give them a little time yet to see what is going to develop. Any could surprise, any could disappoint. None have made it yet. I have faith in all 3 but I am sure of none. Let me even add Hibbert to that group and Collison. :)

cdash
12-13-2011, 10:11 PM
Better instincts, better court vision, better shooter, better handle, I could even argue Hayward is a better defender as well. He was chasing down fast breaks all year and blocking them.

Honestly about the one thing I would say George is better than Hayward is overall athleticism, but that didn't stop Hayward from posterizing George last year.

I know the biased here will call me crazy, but I just call em like I see em. I like Paul George alot and he will be a good player, I just not selling Hayward short like everyone else on this board.

Oh, we are the biased ones?

troyc11a
12-13-2011, 10:12 PM
Why do we have this debate on here so much? Its not like we passed Hayward over for George. He was gone one pick before. I would argue that both teams got really good value for that late in the lottery.

I could not have stated it any better than that!!!
George or Hayward have not done anything yet but both have potential. And potential is hard to debate because it requires no proof. In 2-3 years both may be solid players or busts. Who knows?

spazzxb
12-13-2011, 10:27 PM
Better instincts, better court vision, better shooter, better handle, I could even argue Hayward is a better defender as well. He was chasing down fast breaks all year and blocking them.

Honestly about the one thing I would say George is better than Hayward is overall athleticism, but that didn't stop Hayward from posterizing George last year.

I know the biased here will call me crazy, but I just call em like I see em. I like Paul George alot and he will be a good player, I just not selling Hayward short like everyone else on this board.

You can't say your not biased. Its to early to claim anything definitive between the two.

Mono
12-13-2011, 10:29 PM
Better instincts, better court vision, better shooter, better handle, I could even argue Hayward is a better defender as well. He was chasing down fast breaks all year and blocking them.

Honestly about the one thing I would say George is better than Hayward is overall athleticism, but that didn't stop Hayward from posterizing George last year.

I know the biased here will call me crazy, but I just call em like I see em. I like Paul George alot and he will be a good player, I just not selling Hayward short like everyone else on this board.

Forgive me, but I think that's absurd. First, let's dispense with the "anyone who doesn't agree with me is biased" talk; that's silly. Reasonable people can draw different conclusions.

Hayward is not a better defender than George. Both players had some nice blocked shots last season, but there is no universe in which Hayward locks down Derrick Rose during a playoff series. Paul George can be a Pippen-esque defender. Hayward is a decent defender and an underrated athlete, but I don't think he has that kind of elite defensive potential.

Offensively, I think he may be better right now (in terms of vision, etc.) but George's game is so smooth and his reputation for hard work is such that I think he has superstar potential. I've heard a lot of people on PD talk about Tracy McGrady. I'm not sure if I think he'll be *that* good offensively, but I do think eventually he'll be someone who is a much more athletic and more imaginative scorer than Hayward will be.

However, I suspect Hayward will always be a better shooter and a better passer. But I also think George's "court vision" in terms of being aware of developing plays is underrated.

I like both players a great deal. I probably like Hayward a little more. But in the end I suspect Hayward will be a Ginobili/Kirilenko-level contributor to his team -- an all-around solid player who you can run the offense through at times. Somebody who might be appreciated and debated by afficianados of the game while going underrated by the NBA fan at large.... Whereas Paul George will be a star in the NBA and possibly a huge one.


Why do we have this debate on here so much? Its not like we passed Hayward over for George. He was gone one pick before. I would argue that both teams got really good value for that late in the lottery.

I just like to chime in whenever I see anything Jazz-related pop up. I get that the Hayward-vs-George debate is pretty played out on this board.... On the other hand, it's basketball. It's always fun to talk about basketball.

graphic-er
12-13-2011, 10:50 PM
Bias is an inclination to present or hold a partial perspective at the expense of (possibly equally valid) alternatives.

Clearly I am not biased as I have said I recognize the talent of George as well.

I just said that from what I see, Hayward has the better overall game, and that he could have a break out year. The Jazz do not have any strengths at the wing position so the minutes are there for Hayward to take over.

xBulletproof
12-13-2011, 11:00 PM
I could even argue Hayward is a better defender as well. He was chasing down fast breaks all year and blocking them.

No, you can't argue that for one second. Here are Paul vs Gordon defensive numbers ...

Gordon -

eFG% - 55.8% at SG, and 54.8% at SF. 19.5 PER at SG, and 16.9 PER at SF.

George -

eFG% - 42.7% at SG, and 45.7% at SF. 12.4 PER at SG, and 14.0 PER at SF.

====

I don't know how Hayward was chasing down fast breaks and blocking shots "all year" when he averaged 0.3 blocks per game.

Where do you get some of this from? :hmm:

pacer4ever
12-13-2011, 11:36 PM
No, you can't argue that for one second. Here are Paul vs Gordon defensive numbers ...

Gordon -

eFG% - 55.8% at SG, and 54.8% at SF. 19.5 PER at SG, and 16.9 PER at SF.

George -

eFG% - 42.7% at SG, and 45.7% at SF. 12.4 PER at SG, and 14.0 PER at SF.

====

I don't know how Hayward was chasing down fast breaks and blocking shots "all year" when he averaged 0.3 blocks per game.

Where do you get some of this from? :hmm:

:puke: 56% that guy has no business playing SG ever again good thing they drafted Alec Burks. He is a really bad defender damn.

what site do you use for that stat iv been looking for advance defensive stats but can never find them ?

vnzla81
12-14-2011, 12:06 AM
Gordon Hayward is like a younger version of Mike Dunleavy, no joke, both guys are very similar.

Pacergeek
12-14-2011, 12:07 AM
Why do we have this debate on here so much? Its not like we passed Hayward over for George. He was gone one pick before. I would argue that both teams got really good value for that late in the lottery.

Because so many people on pd thought he was going to be a bust. Then after he showed he can play in the NBA,those same people were too stubborn to admit they were wrong about Gordon. Instead they root against him to succeed just to protect their internet reputation.

xBulletproof
12-14-2011, 12:08 AM
Gordon Hayward is like a younger version of Mike Dunleavy, no joke, both guys are very similar.

Even Dunleavy's counter parts eFG% is in the 48-49% range. If that gives you any idea. :laugh:

spazzxb
12-14-2011, 12:09 AM
You can't judge a player as young as George at least until he is finished growing. lol

Day-V
12-14-2011, 12:12 AM
lol, Gordon Hayward.

Pacergeek
12-14-2011, 12:14 AM
Gordon Hayward is like a younger version of Mike Dunleavy, no joke, both guys are very similar.

So you can evaluate talent better than Kobe? Vnzla, its over. Stop trolling and admit you were wrong about Gordon. Nobody will be mad. I have said dumb stuff about Tyler, Roy, DC, and even DG. I am man enough to admit that I was incorrect.

Ozwalt72
12-14-2011, 12:14 AM
:puke: 56% that guy has no business playing SG ever again good thing they drafted Alec Burks. He is a really bad defender damn.

what site do you use for that stat iv been looking for advance defensive stats but can never find them ?

They have opponent averages on 82games.com

vnzla81
12-14-2011, 12:14 AM
Even Dunleavy's counter parts eFG% is in the 48-49% range. If that gives you any idea. :laugh:

Damn, they must be family then :-p are we sure Hayward is not Mike's lost son or something?

vnzla81
12-14-2011, 12:17 AM
So you can evaluate talent better than Kobe? Vnzla, its over. Stop trolling and admit you were wrong about Gordon. Nobody will be mad. I have said dumb stuff about Tyler, Roy, DC, and even DG. I am man enough to admit that I was incorrect.

A younger version of Mike Dunleavy was a pretty good player(yes I said it :blush:) after the injury he was a different player, comparing Hayward to Dunleavy before the knee issue should not be a bad thing.

Ozwalt72
12-14-2011, 12:22 AM
Gordon can be a heck of a player. So can Paul. As a Pacer fan, I hope to hell it's Paul.

Hayward shot lights out last year, 48.5% from floor and 47.3% from three. As a rookie, that's absolutely insane. But Hayward is NOT the defender nor has the potential as a defender that Paul does.

So based only on rookie year, Hayward's a better shooter and passer. Paul's a better rebounder and defender. You should learn a LOT about both this year.

Day-V
12-14-2011, 12:24 AM
Paul's no slouch as a passer, either.

Pacergeek
12-14-2011, 12:32 AM
It's impossible to say who will be better, George or Gordon. But pacer fans thinking the Jazz screwed up their draft by taking Gordon before George are full of it.

Ozwalt72
12-14-2011, 12:36 AM
It's impossible to say who will be better, George or Gordon. But pacer fans thinking the Jazz screwed up their draft by taking Gordon before George are full of it.

Just wait and see.

I hope both become all-stars.

Dr. Awesome
12-14-2011, 01:12 AM
Bias is an inclination to present or hold a partial perspective at the expense of (possibly equally valid) alternatives.

Clearly I am not biased as I have said I recognize the talent of George as well.

I just said that from what I see, Hayward has the better overall game, and that he could have a break out year. The Jazz do not have any strengths at the wing position so the minutes are there for Hayward to take over.

When it comes to biased people on this forum, you are always the first person that comes to my mind. I actually was about to post something along the lines of "here comes graphic-er to talk Hayward up" when this thread was first made, but I couldn't remember your username.

Come on.

How in the hell can you claim your not biased when you made the most ridiculous comparisons about him before hand, and even after we drafted George did nothing but talk about Hayward 24/7. I would actually think over half your posts are Hayward/Butler related.

That leaves us with one of two scenarios: You are either very biased, or your evaluation of talent makes Isiah Thomas look like the best basketball mind in the world.

All that said, I like Hayward just fine, but you constantly put him up on a hall of famers pedastool, then claim not to be biased.

At least admit it..

Ozwalt72
12-14-2011, 01:15 AM
So you can evaluate talent better than Kobe?

This just annoys the hell out of me.

Just because you're an all-star, future all of famer means you can evaluate talent?

Was Isiah a good GM?

Pacersalltheway10
12-14-2011, 01:47 AM
Don't hate on my Butler guy. Hayward isn't going to be another Steve Alford in the league. He has a super high basketball IQ and has a sweet shot. And he added 15 pounds of muscle this season. Besides being a video game nerd, he is also a stat geek. Having the ability to properly analyze your opponent in depth is a valuable skill. I'm sure he had carried the Law of Averages (Brad Stevens) with him to the NBA.

graphic-er
12-14-2011, 03:30 PM
When it comes to biased people on this forum, you are always the first person that comes to my mind. I actually was about to post something along the lines of "here comes graphic-er to talk Hayward up" when this thread was first made, but I couldn't remember your username.

Come on.

How in the hell can you claim your not biased when you made the most ridiculous comparisons about him before hand, and even after we drafted George did nothing but talk about Hayward 24/7. I would actually think over half your posts are Hayward/Butler related.

That leaves us with one of two scenarios: You are either very biased, or your evaluation of talent makes Isiah Thomas look like the best basketball mind in the world.

All that said, I like Hayward just fine, but you constantly put him up on a hall of famers pedastool, then claim not to be biased.

At least admit it..

This is most ridiculous BS I've ever read about myself on here.
1. I've never started more than one thread on here about Gordon Hayward.
2. There were just as many draft posts about Paul George prior to the draft as there were about Gordon Hayward. It was a legit debate because the Pacers and Jazz drafted so close together.
3. After the draft, I no longer posted much of anything about Hayward. The posts you seem to recall were actually my replies to others making derrogative posts about me and my uber Hayward fandom. AND I've pointed this out several times on this board. Post like:

"Hopefully he doesn't release an album. Graphic-er will lose his life's savings trying to make it platinum." - Dr. Awesome (I didn't even post in that thread, so clearly you bring up Hayward and me with out provocation too)


Perception is not reality, go back and read the threads.

I did not make any more ridiculous comparisons as those who immediately said Paul George = Tracy McGrady, before the guy played a game.

90'sNBARocked
12-14-2011, 03:47 PM
Everybody jump me

seriously its my fault. I knew that posting anything on Gordon Heyward would rattle people up, but im an instigator by trade

but hell, its better than all the lockout crap we suffered through for 6 plus months

:)

troyc11a
12-14-2011, 03:54 PM
A younger version of Mike Dunleavy was a pretty good player(yes I said it :blush:) after the injury he was a different player, comparing Hayward to Dunleavy before the knee issue should not be a bad thing.

Before the injury, Dunleavy was better than Granger. He was an above average player. If Hayward or George reach that level both Jazz and Pacer fans will be thrilled!

90'sNBARocked
12-14-2011, 03:56 PM
Before the injury, Dunleavy was better than Granger. He was an above average player. If Hayward or George reach that level both Jazz and Pacer fans will be thrilled!

May I humbly nominate this for "humorous post of the year"?

:)

troyc11a
12-14-2011, 05:38 PM
May I humbly nominate this for "humorous post of the year"?

:)

Only if you want to show your ignorance of Pacer history. Dunleavy scored with Granger and shot 3% better from the field. The coach and Team president even stated on several occasions Dun was the glue on the team. I can understand your lack of knowledge because 2007-8 was probably before your time.

Sandman21
12-14-2011, 06:11 PM
The coach at that time also thought Troy Murphy was the greatest thing on Earth!

90'sNBARocked
12-14-2011, 07:18 PM
Only if you want to show your ignorance of Pacer history. Dunleavy scored with Granger and shot 3% better from the field. The coach and Team president even stated on several occasions Dun was the glue on the team. I can understand your lack of knowledge because 2007-8 was probably before your time.

insert cat sound hissing

and your words are a little strong my friend

anyday you want to have a quizz to see who knows more about Pacer basketball, your own

I ll put up 3 stacks

before my time? no sir. I vivdly rememebr Bird and Person battling each other in a terrific playoff game