Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports

Kyrie Irving sees 'unspoken language' at work between Gordon Hayward-Brad Stevens

Ty Anderson
September 29, 2017 - 4:27 pm

Reunited after seven years apart, it seems as if Celtics head coach Brad Stevens and forward Gordon Hayward have picked up where they left off at Butler University.

“When you watch and you observe, and then you have a few days to be on the court with [Hayward], you understand how high his basketball IQ is and the understanding that him and Brad have,” Kyrie Irving, who should also be an excellent fit in Stevens’ system, said. “They have an unspoken language already between one another.”

Hayward, however, was quick to deny that he can read his (new) old coach’s mind.

“It helps just a little bit because we have some familiarity,” Hayward admitted. “But I wouldn’t go as far to say that we have silent communication. For me, just trying to still adjust to the system, adjust to the way we play here, and adjust to my teammates.”

Originally considered an overblown part of the Hayward-to-Boston courting process, it’s become extremely clear that Stevens is one of the biggest reasons -- if not thee biggest reason -- why the 27-year-old Hayward signed in Boston this summer. He essentially admitted that to be the case in his Players’ Tribune piece upon signing with the Celtics.

While he can say all he wants to deny the obvious connection he shares with Stevens, it becomes real when teammates notice it, which is exactly what’s happened.

And Irving, the C’s other shiny new toy brought in this season, wants in on it, too.

“Having that head coach-player relationship, it's my duty and part of my job to integrate myself in that as well,” Irving said. “Not only [to] Brad, but the rest of my teammates, but more importantly Al and Gordon to really set the standard on how we want to play this year, because we're going to be leaned on this year a lot. It's starts with us, and then we get to the other guys, and then we develop that chemistry going forward."

Buying in on the Hayward-Stevens hype, and seeing what kind of impact Stevens can make on a player’s game up close and personal now, Irving also seems to be in love with the versatility that the position-less Celtics now have with their new Big Three.

“[Hayward] can be on the ball, I can be on the ball, I can be off the ball and vice versa, and Al [Horford] can handle the ball as well,” Irving said. “When you have the ability to have guys that can play in those different spots that's not necessarily defined by one, two, three, four or five, it makes the offense and defense go a lot smoother.”

The Celtics begin their preseason against the Monday night against the Hornets at TD Garden.

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