If there’s one thing that has been consistent about the Boston Celtics over the years, it’s that bench players are expected to hustle.

Dalano Banton is now well aware of that.

The 23-year-old was benched by head coach Joe Mazzulla for a portion of the Celtics’ preseason win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night. His offense? Not diving for a loose ball.

“Listen, there’s nothing more important than holding people to a high standard, especially when you believe in them and know they can be really, really good,” Mazzulla said following the game, per Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. “We have a roster of 1-17 that I truly believe in, and there’s just a good learning opportunity.

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“There was a loose ball there and I thought he could have gotten it. So credit to him that he was able to take coaching, and he responded really, really well. He’s got a chance to be a really good player in this league and I just loved the mentality that he brought to being coached and then responding. It’s super important and I’m thankful that he allowed me to coach him.”

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Banton sat for about nine minutes, missing the majority of the third quarter, but returned to help the Celtics hold on for the victory.

It was an important moment for both sides. Banton will be competing for minutes behind two all-defense selections in Jrue Holiday and Derrick White, with Payton Pritchard almost guaranteed to be the first guard off the bench. Mazzulla also has a little something to prove given the way 2022-23 ended.

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In a season where the Celtics have more than enough talent to win a championship, Mazzulla has driven home his desire to see the team compete. The guys at the top of the roster have seen it, and now, the guys competing for spots at the bottom have, as well.

Featured image via Kyle Ross/USA TODAY Sports Images