Boston Celtics star guard Kyrie Irving has urged teammate Gordon Hayward to be more aggressive.
The team has been struggling quite a lot this season, despite having both players healthy. But Hayward, in particular, has been very cautious in his approach after recovering from a very bad injury.
The 28-year-old has lost a bit of bounce and aggressiveness as a result, something which is very understandable. However, Irving reckons the Celtics would be much better off if he passed the ball a bit less.
"Honestly, I think that he's passing a little too much for Gordon's potential and his talent," the former Cleveland Cavaliers point guard told BostonSportsJournal's Brian Robb.
"I think, coming up in the next few games, he'll be able to show some different things that he's been on for the start of the season. Just being more aggressive offensively and looking for his shot more.
"We had practice yesterday and I told him, 'Look for your shot more. Get aggressive and get yourself going because you are a great talent in this league and I don't want you to ever forget that.'
"Of course, he does a great job of coming off the pick-and-roll and making those passes, but I want him to be aggressive and score the basketball for us as well because we are going to need it down the stretch."
Here's Kyrie Irving unfiltered on wanting Gordon Hayward to be more aggressive on offense: pic.twitter.com/gYpvJMrjCs— Brian Robb (@BrianTRobb) November 29, 2018
Hayward, who missed all but five minutes of the 2017-2018 campaign, has only attempted 8.9 shots per game so far this term. He's currently shooting career lows of 40 percent from the floor and 29.2 percent from beyond the arc.
To strengthen Irving's point, the player has made 630 passes and taken just 170 shots, per NBA.com's stats, as opposed to starting forward Jayson Tatum, who has made 614 passes but has also made 276 shot attempts.
Hayward's production is likely to go up as the season progresses but, at the moment, he isn't giving the Celtics what they need. Even after being taken off restricted minutes, he's finding it difficult to find proper footing.
What This Means
The Celtics really need more from their star forward this season. But who could blame him for being a little hesitant to attack the basket after suffering such an injury over a year ago?
A few more shot attempts shouldn't hurt, though. But, for now, they will have to settle for a less aggressive, less explosive Hayward.