Hayward has the shot and versatility to make good things happen for himself and teammates. His all-around solid game Saturday is a prime example. The 21-year-old shot 6-for-11 (2-for-3 from deep), grabbed six rebounds, dished out four assists and had two steals.
"Gordon Hayward has done a good job of continuing to grow," Corbin said.
And, yes, the coach said that before the win.
Bell made another interesting pregame comment about Hayward, who came into Saturday's game having only made one of his previous eight 3-point attempts and hadn't yet duplicated some of the eye-popping stats he put up at the end of his rookie season.
"I don't think he ever lacked confidence. I think he's been a pretty confident kid," the 12-year veteran Bell said. "When given the opportunity to do his thing, he doesn't shy away from it. He goes after it."
"He's still young, so there's going to be ups and downs like any young player," Bell said. "He's one of those kids, he works. He's in the gym working. He's got a good head on his shoulder for the game, so he's going to be good."
Before the game, Hayward described his second season as being "up and down." As his coach wants, that won't stop him from shooting when opportunities arise in the rhythm of the offense.
"I'm not shooting the ball particularly well," Hayward said during pregame media availability. "But I think that will come, so I'm not worried about that."
For good reason.
"I always try to do other things just beside shooting the ball," he said. "Creating shots for my teammates, playing good D, just doing whatever I can to help us get a win."
And his postgame remarks?
Not much different than the pregame ones.
"I'm going to keep shooting. I'm shooting with confidence because I've put in the work," Hayward said. "I know I've shot so many of those shots that they feel like whenever the next one's up, you'll knock it down. I think you have to have that mentality, and they were able to fall tonight."
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