Tomorrow, the Charlotte Hornets will have their first chance at reaching the playoffs since 2016 as they take on the Indiana Pacers in the first-ever play-in round. But will they have star forward Gordon Hayward available for the big game?
Unfortunately, it looks like the Hornets will have to take on Indiana without him. Charlotte announced that Hayward is out for Tuesday’s play-in game with a sprained foot.
Hayward has been battling the foot injury since early-April but appeared to have been on the mend. Sadly, he isn’t mended enough for the biggest game the Hornets have had in five years.
Through 44 games in the 2020-21 season, Hayward was averaging 19.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. He was top-five on the team in all three categories.
The Hornets say Gordon Hayward (sprained foot) is out for Tuesday's play-in game at Indiana.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) May 17, 2021
The Charlotte Hornets aren’t exactly coming into the play-in round with a hot hand either. They’ve lost five straight games and went 6-15 in their final 21 games to end the season.
Fortunately for the Hornets, they should have the services of rookie superstar LaMelo Ball, who returned from his injury layoff with 10 games to go and is looking good heading into the postseason.
But Charlotte still have their work cut out for them if they hope to get through the gauntlet of Indiana and either the Boston Celtics or Washington Wizards to enter the NBA playoffs.
Can the Charlotte Hornets reach the playoffs without Gordon Hayward?