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Hayward Grows By Leaps And Bounds

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Remember last month (and the month before that) when newcomer Gordon Hayward got very little playing time and very little notice? Unfortunately, when he did get in the game he was mostly ineffectual which left a lot of people wondering about the wisdom of the Jazz’s selection of this young man who was the number nine overall pick in the NBA draft. It appears that perhaps those days are behind the rookie now that he has played the entire fourth quarter in five of the last six games. Coach Jerry Sloan showed a lot of confidence in this young player and it seems to have paid off. Many of the former disgruntled Jazz fans who were wishing that the team had acquired someone else in the draft are now part of Hayward’s growing fan base. Another good sign for the rookie is the comaraderie that appears to be developing between Hayward and all star point guard, Deron Williams. At one time during the early days of the season, Hayward was the recipient of some fairly stern words and glaring looks from Williams who was frustrated that the rookie was not executing the plays that he was supposed to be learning. That frustration also seems to be in the past evidenced by the wide smiles on Deron Williams’ face when he sees the rookie performing well. The fans are smiling too as they see the young man wearing Jazz basketball uniform bearing the number 20 get his scoring into the double digits.