The Celtics dominated the 2023-24 regular season, and anything short of an NBA title will qualify as a disappointment for Boston.

They’re the No. 1 seed. They’re healthy. And they have a championship-caliber roster loaded with high-end talent.

Yet, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps focused on an under-the-radar player in offering “one postseason prediction” for the Celtics as part of an NBA playoff preview published Monday on

“The world will get to know Sam Hauser,” Bontemps predicted. “Much has been made of Boston’s lack of depth this season, but that’s in part because Hauser, one of the league’s best 3-point shooters, has been completely overlooked. The 26-year-old shot over 43% from 3-point range on more than five attempts per game this season as coach Joe Mazzulla’s preferred seventh man after the five starters and top reserve Al Horford. If the Celtics have the kind of playoff run they are expecting, Hauser will play a big part in it and likely will have several big shooting performances.”

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Again, the Celtics have no shortage of star power, with Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday joining Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and Horford this season. Any one of those players is capable of putting together a big performance that swings momentum in Boston’s favor.

But Hauser’s shooting touch can be a game-changer, as well, ad it’s a quality the Celtics lacked at times during previous playoff runs. Perhaps he’ll truly be an X factor off the bench, even if Boston’s title hopes don’t necessarily hang on Hauser’s ability to get hot from deep.

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