Charlotte Hornets need Gordon Hayward healthy to make the playoffs

Charlotte Hornets Gordon Hayward. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Gordon Hayward. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

With the regular season over, the Charlotte Hornets have one more chance to advance to the playoffs in the league’s play-in tournament. The Hornets will need to win two consecutive games in order to get the 8th seed.

The Hornets take on the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night. Charlotte has won their last two against the Pacers. Indiana could be missing some key players, but the Hornets will still have to fight to keep their playoff hopes alive.

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Gordon Hayward last played on April 2 against the Pacers, where he was close to picking up the first triple-double of his career. Hayward finished the regular season averaging 19.6 points, 4.1 assists, and 5.9 rebounds per game.

Hayward helped the Hornets go 24-20 when he played. Since he has been out, Charlotte has gone 8-16, which summarizes how bad the end of the season has been. Hayward has been out of his walking boot since May 1, but the Hornets have not given any indication that he will be back.

When Hayward was healthy, he was a key part of the Hornets’ offense. Lately, the Hornets have been stalling at the end of games. In the past five games, Charlotte’s offense has gone cold in the fourth quarter.

Charlotte has tested their young players as of late, but the veteran leadership of Hayward is needed at the end of games when the offense is cold. Before Hayward got hurt, the Hornets were undefeated when entering the fourth quarter while leading.

The Hornets have a chance to advance to the playoffs, but Hayward will be needed in order to make it happen. Tuesday’s game against the Pacers will be the Hornets’ biggest game since Charlotte was last in the playoffs during the 2015-16 season. It’s time for the Hornets to return to the playoffs.

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