Melissa Majchrzak/Getty Images
On Wednesday night, Gordon Hayward had a dubiously historic game against the Pelicans. In NBA history, no player had ever gone 1-of-17 from the field, dished at least 11 assists and committed only one turnover before Hayward did.
That wild game says a lot about Hayward this season.
First, he's a pretty complete player. Hayward doesn't need to score to make an impact. He also had six rebounds in addition to the assists, and he was one of three Jazz players with a positive plus/minus rating for the game.
Not only does Hayward not need to score, he doesn't need to try so hard to do so. This wasn't Hayward's first awful shooting performance this season. He went 5-of-23 against the Spurs on November 15, and he's shot less than 50 percent in eight of Utah's 13 games.
It's starting to look like he's not a go-to scorer at this level, but he's still trying so hard to be.
Hayward doesn't really have the ball-handling ability or explosiveness to create great looks for himself, so he often settles for long two-point shots.
He wasn't a good mid-range shooter last season. According to HoopData.com, Hayward shot 30 percent in the three- to nine-foot range, 36.1 percent from the 10- 15-foot range and 37 percent from 16 feet to the three-point line.
Those numbers aren't any better this season, as evidenced by this shot chart.
Hayward has the potential to be a good scorer and shooter, just not as a No. 1 option. This season, he's leading the Jazz at 18.2 points a game, and in the role of lead scorer, his shooting percentages have suffered.
He's at 39.7 percent from the field and 30 percent from three-point range.
All this may be a bit harsh, because the current makeup of the roster pretty much forces Hayward's hand—no one else can effectively create his own offense either.
Like I said before, he does so much more than score.
Wednesday night marked the second time he's hit double-digits for assists, and he's averaging 5.9 rebounds a game.
It might be time for Hayward to focus more on those things. This group may be best served with Kanter as the No. 1 option on offense, and Hayward's passing ability could help make him a force inside.
For 140-character pearls of wisdom from Bleacher Report's Andy Bailey, follow him on Twitter: @AndrewDBailey.