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Hayward's struggles

Published January 26, 2012 11:51 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Gordon Hayward expressed frustration, lamenting on how his jumper always falls during practice.

Tyrone Corbin expressed worry and concern, but maintained that Utah's prized lottery pick of 2010 would fight through.

At this current time, however, there's no denying the obvious: Gordon Hayward is in a major slump. And that could be understating it.

Hayward's 1-9 performance in 36 minutes of action on Wednesday night, a 111-106 double-overtime loss to the Toronto Raptors, stands out in a number of forgettable performances.

But the thing that has to be concerning is the fact that Hayward doesn't seem like he even wants to shoot the ball. Multiple times in the two overtimes, the 6-foot-8 swingman passed up open looks. He looked hesitant. He wasn't aggressive, and that hurt the Jazz as Toronto surrounded Paul Millsap when it mattered.

"It's frustrating for me because I'm not shooting the ball well and I shoot so many times in practice," Hayward said. "I see them go in all the time. It's just something I'm working on and I need to shoot it with more confidence."

Hayward did have seven rebounds and three assists. He did have two steals and he does a lot of little things that don't show up in statistics that earns him time and credibility with Corbin.

But he had four turnovers, and at least four of Raptor forward James Johnson's six blocked shots came against Hayward.

"He's going to fight through it," Corbin said. "Right now he's not shooting with confidence, but I have confidence in him."

Hayward shows flashes. He played extremely well against the Denver Nuggets on the road two weeks ago. And who can forget the 36 points he hung on Denver in the season-finale of last year?

Still, Hayward has yet to figure out how to be a consistent offensive threat. And that's a cause of concern for the Jazz.

Tony Jones