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Tuesday’s Mashup: Brad Stevens says Gordon Hayward will be on minutes restriction to begin season

Lucy Burdge
October 16, 2018 - 7:10 am

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Boston at Houston, 5:09 p.m. (TBS, WEEI-FM 93.7)
MLB: Milwaukee at LA Dodgers, 9:09 p.m. (FS1)
NBA: Philadelphia at Boston, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Oklahoma City at Golden State, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL: Arizona at Minnesota, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)


-- The Celtics kick off their regular season on Tuesday and Gordon Hayward will finally be back on the court.

His playing time, however, will be limited.

Brad Stevens said on Monday Hayward will be on a 25-minutes-per-game restriction to start the season.

“I thought last week was his best week, as you would expect,” Stevens said. “Obviously his back feels better and a little more comfortable as you move on, so he’ll be a little bit restricted from a minutes standpoint as we progress through this early part of the season, but that’s just to make sure we ramp it back up so that he’s feeling great toward the end of the year and the years beyond. It’s hard to go from not playing (for 12 months) to playing the schedule that we’re playing.”

Hayward also said on Monday he is anxious for the start of the season after recovering from his season-ending injury a year ago.

“Definitely a little anxious, just a little bit nervous. I think that’s natural, though,” Hayward said. “Once you get out there and get your blood flowing and get up and down the court a couple times, that’ll go away. Just looking forward to being out there, that’s a big step for me. Like I said in the preseason, too, being out there on the floor after what happened is a big step.”

The Celtics will open their season against the 76ers at TD Garden on Tuesday night.

-- Rajon Rondo wants to leave his mark on the Lakers-Celtics rivalry, saying on Monday he wants to be the first player to win a championship with both teams.

"I need another ring," Rondo said. "It's simple. I want to be the first to win for the two most historic franchises that's ever put a basketball to use. So, I got one in Boston and I'd love to get one with this organization."

Rondo, of course, won a title with the Celtics in 2008. He signed a one-year deal with the Lakers this offseason.

"You expect certain teams, certain franchises [to be like this]," Rondo continued. "Obviously, playing for Boston that was probably the best experience I've had since I've [been in the league]. And now here. Obviously, all the teams I've played for, they do have great organizations, but none touch this."

As for getting a ring in Los Angeles, Rondo sees promise in the Lakers’ current roster.

"I love what I've seen," he said. "We got some dogs. We got a lot of dogs. And we got a lot of young, great talent, and we got the best player in the world. We got some good chemistry, a good mix, and we got to find a way to put it together … I love our young guys, our commitment, the way they study the game, their willingness to learn. I was telling Bron [LeBron James]  the other day, we were on the plane and I've never seen damn near 12 guys watching film. As a team, I haven't seen that many guys combined in the last four [or] five seasons, I think. So, it was very refreshing to see. Understanding that this team is committed."

The Lakers start their season on Thursday in Portland.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “That’s just a little bit too crazy,” Rob Gronkowski said. “Us players are out there competing, trying to be the best we can be out there. That’s just a little bit too much, I would say. I’ll let the police and the organization, whatever they do, handle it.” -- Rob Gronkowski, on the fan who threw beer on Tyreek Hill during the Patriots’ win over the Chiefs on Sunday