Welcome to Court Vision, a weekly video-breakdown column on emerging trends around the NBA that you might have missed.
Hayward finding his form
This might not be saying much for a max player, but Gordon Hayward has his first four-game double-digit scoring streak of the season.
Hayward is averaging 19 points, five rebounds, and five assists while shooting 58 percent from the field and 50 percent from deep over his last four games, including a 35-point explosion against the Timberwolves. Not coincidentally, the Boston Celtics have won each of these contests.
He's warming up to his new role as the Celtics' sixth man. He still lacks the confidence and the athleticism to burst to the rim as he did prior to suffering a broken ankle, but he's found success as a point forward. Hayward is strong and steady in the mid-range and knows when to feed his bigs on drives to the basket:
Earning $31 million per year, Hayward coming off the bench is unlikely to be a long-term solution, but Brad Stevens was open to just about anything that could get the Celtics on solid ground. Hayward didn't fit well within the starting lineup, as he would go entire weeks without attempting 10 shots in a game. He shied away from the ball and wasn't particularly effective on defense, so something had to give.
Boston is 16-9 since demoting Hayward (and Jaylen Brown), and the team as a whole seems happier after the change. There are fewer mouths to feed in the starting lineup, and there's more consistent shot creation with Hayward leading the bench unit. Even if it's just temporary, the Celtics' rotation just makes a lot more sense.
Brogdon emerging as effective slasher
Only seven players - Ben Simmons, Jrue Holiday, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Zach LaVine, Bradley Beal, and Damian Lillard - have gotten to the rim more often than Brogdon. The aforementioned players are all the primary creators on their respective teams, while Brogdon is the third option at best.
Brogdon gets to the basket so often because he's opportunistic. He's a master of attacking the closeout, and he's often left open when his man goes to help against Giannis Antetokounmpo. Defenders have to stay attached and contest his shot because Brogdon is hitting 43 percent from deep, but he punishes anyone that comes too close. His lower-body strength is incredible for a 6-foot-3 guard, and he typically gets his way on his bull rushes to the basket:
Brogdon has attempted 229 shots in the restricted area compared to 153 from everywhere else on the floor. He's also quietly on pace for one of the most impressive 50-40-90 seasons ever as he's shooting 52 percent from the field, 43 from deep, and a league-best 98.7 percent from the charity stripe.
Satoransky letting everyone eat
To be clear: John Wall is far superior to Tomas Satoransky as far as individual ability is concerned. Even in a down year, Wall is still an established All-Star while Satoransky is destined to be a career backup.
But this is the second consecutive year in which the Washington Wizards' ball movement is noticeably better without their star point guard. The team is averaging 323 passes in the seven games with Satoransky running the show, compared to 279 passes when Wall was pulling the strings.
Save from hitting a respectable share of open threes, there isn't anything that Satoransky does better than Wall. If anything, the drop in passes per game reflects Wall's superior ability in getting to the basket. Satoransky must rely on his passing to create offense.
By that same token, Wall calls his own number far too often - he took 5.3 triples per game despite barely cracking 30 percent - at the expense of his teammates. He posted gaudy assist numbers, but that's because nobody else touched the ball.
Washington is running a lot more off-ball action with Satoransky at the point, with most of the actions being called for Bradley Beal. And when Satoransky does run a standard pick-and-roll, odds are that he's looking to find Thomas Bryant on the roll instead of getting his own look:
Satoransky's usage has not exceeded 20 percent in the seven games since Wall was ruled out for the season. He can't create much for himself, but he makes sure everyone eats, and that's a good thing for the Wizards.
Drummond taking soul-sucking threes
There is absolutely no need for Andre Drummond to continue shooting 3-pointers. It doesn't matter that everyone has the green light in the modern game, it doesn't matter that Drummond has only attempted 28 threes all year, and it doesn't matter that he spent all summer trying to hone the shot.
Having the league's best offensive rebounder take pick-and-pop jumpers is insane, especially on a night when Drummond shot just 2-of-12 from the field as he did in a loss to the LeBron James-less Lakers. The Detroit Pistons might be better off punting the ball into the crowd than having Drummond take these threes; at least they could set their defense.
Look at how his teammates simply give up as Drummond attempts the three; it's almost as if a timeout was called and the shot was taken after the whistle. Every single Laker ignores him as they saunter toward corralling the miss:
The Pistons have won just four of 20 games since starting out 13-7, and they have the eighth-toughest schedule the rest of the way. They certainly can't afford to waste any possessions.