Earned ‘Trust’ Leads To First Career Start For Celtics’ Sam Hauser

'I trust his work ethic and I trust his mindset'


February 6

The Boston Celtics have hit the point in their season where injuries have started to pile up, leading to increased opportunities across the board.

Sam Hauser was the latest beneficiary of those increased opportunities. Injuries to Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown allowed the 25-year-old a chance to make his first NBA start in a 111-99 win over the Detroit Pistons.

A simplified approach from the Celtics thrusted Hauser into the starting five over the likes of Payton Pritchard, as his shooting was a big part of the plan entering the matchup.

“I thought he was great in the first half,” Celtics interim coach Joe Mazzulla said postgame, per NBC Sports Boston. “The decision (to start him), just as it is with all our guys, I trust his work ethic and I trust his mindset.

“I thought it was a good opportunity for him to play and for us to get into a different flow on the offensive end. When he’s in, our off-ball creativity is there. Our after action is there and our spacing is there, so I thought he would help that.”

There is no doubt the Hauser experiment worked out for the Celtics, as he connected on five of his nine attempts from beyond the arc, finishing with 15 points, six rebounds and one block.

Was the performance good enough to cast doubt over whether Brown will return once he’s over his illness? Absolutely not. It did, however, help Hauser break out of an extended slump and should earn him more of an opportunity as the Celtics start to expand their rotation following the NBA All-Star break.

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Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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