Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving gave teammate Gordon Hayward a vote of confidence Thursday, calling Hayward a "great talent," while also encouraging him to be more aggressive on offense.

"We had practice yesterday and I told him, 'Look for your shot more. Get aggressive and get yourself going because you are a great talent in this league and I don't want you to ever forget that,'" Irving said after practice Thursday morning.

Hayward has struggled during the first 20 games of the season, shooting just 40 percent from the field and 29 percent from three-point range. In his final season with Utah, Hayward knocked down 40 percent of his shots and 40 percent of his threes while averaging 21.9 points per game.

"Honestly, I think that he’s passing a little too much for Gordon's potential and his talent," Irving said. "I think, coming up in the next few games, he’ll be able to show some different things that he’s been on for the start of the season. Just being more aggressive offensively and looking for his shot more."

Coach Brad Stevens also expressed confidence in Hayward on Thursday.

"He was really good in practice yesterday, made a lot of very aggressive plays at the rim, and that's a little bit of a next step. We'll see how that translates. But he's doing everything we could have asked. He's been through a lot. At the end of the day he'll be better in Game 40 than he was in Game 20, and 60 than 40 and so on."

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