Joe Mazzulla Reacts To Sam Hauser’s Career Night In Celtics Win

'He's right up there with everyone else on the team'

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November 9, 2022

The Boston Celtics absolutely dominated on the offensive end en route to their fourth straight victory, defeating the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, featuring a career night from second-year forward Sam Hauser.

Hauser, who played just five games last season, has blossomed early in the season for the Celtics off the bench. With Boston’s offense dominating, yet again, from beyond the arc, Hauser played a major role in leading the second unit against Detroit.

Interim head coach Joe Mazzulla took notice and highlighted Hauser’s contributions in the win.

“(He) fits in with the other guys,” Mazzulla said, as seen on NBC Sports Boston’s postgame coverage. “… Create(s) separation for himself and for others. Does a great job in just continuing to get better on the defensive end. So, he’s right up there with everyone else on the team, doing a great job.”

Mazzulla added: “He’s a guy that can create separation. … Usually guys who can shoot the ball are really good screeners so I think putting him in the action is another guy that they have to worry about along with Jayson (Tatum) and Jaylen (Brown) and whether it’s (Marcus) Smart or Al (Horford). So when you have him involved, it adds another to how they gonna guard. … I think the other piece is we’re either first or second in off-ball frequency this year, and so we’re running a lot more off-ball as a team which is a compliment to our guys because they buy into it … Sam adds to that.”

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Hauser scored a career-high 24 points against the Pistons while knocking down 6-of-12 shot attempts from 3-point territory. Following scoring leaders in Tatum (31 points) and Brown (30 points), Hauser was the third biggest contributor in Boston’s scoring category, leading a 47-point showing from the bench.

“You gotta show you can do it in the games and in game-like moments,” Hauser said, as seen on NBC Sports Boston’s postgame coverage. “And I think I’ve done that so far. And I think, little by little, I’m earning more trust in Joe. … I’ve still gotta keep doing all the things that’ll earn my minutes out there and keep earning my spot in the rotation. I think when you see a couple of easy ones go, I think it opens up the whole floor for you and definitely puts more confidence in your shot when you go back to the 3-point line. So, definitely getting those easy ones helps.”

Hauser also earned his first Tommy Award, as noted during the postgame broadcast.

The Celtics, now 8-3 on the campaign following the win, will next face the Denver Nuggets on Friday. Tipoff from TD Garden is set for 7 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
Boston Celtics forwards Jayson Tatum and Grant Williams
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