Sam Hauser had his breakout game for the Boston Celtics when they played against the New York Knicks on Nov. 5. In 21 minutes of action, Hauser scored 17 points while shooting six-for-nine from the field, including five-for-eight from three-point land, all while sporting a plus/minus of plus-14.
After the game, Marcus Smart praised Hauser for how much his shooting helps Smart, as well as Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Malcolm Brogdon when he’s on the floor with them.
“He spreads the floor,” Smart said. “Got a knockdown shooter over there. It’s tough for you to help off of somebody like him then try to help Jayson and try to help on Jaylen and those guys and Malcolm and me coming down the lane. It just makes it that much easier for us. Then if they do stop us, you got a guy that’s going to knock it down. It really keeps the defense honest.”
Smart then praised Hauser for his efforts on the defensive end, especially since opponents target him on that end.
“We’re proud of Sam, and not just for his offense but the way he holds himself on the defensive end as well. He also understands that a lot of people are going to try to pick on him on the defensive end. He’s constantly working, his confidence is going through the roof, and playing great defense for us. They do go at him. We tell him all the time to be expecting it. We’re in practice, we go at him to get him ready for how he’s going to handle himself, and we tip our hat off to him. He’s doing a great job,” Smart said.
Sam Hauser Sounds Off on New Opportunities
Hauser was brought in by the Celtics as an undrafted free agent in 2021 and was signed to a two-way contract. He worked his way up to earning a three-year contract in 2022. With Danilo Gallinari sidelined while recovering from an ACL tear, Hauser has gotten more opportunities with the Celtics.
In nine games this season, Hauser’s averaged 13.1 minutes a game, which is more than double the minutes he played last season – 6.1. Following the increase in minutes, Hauser reflected on the new opportunities he’s been getting with the team.
“Last year, I was told to just keep working and just be ready for opportunities when they’re there. That’s what I’ve done this year, as well. I could be playing a lot of minutes like I did tonight; I could be playing not that many minutes like a couple of nights ago. Just got to be ready for whatever I’m asked to do, and I’ll be ready when my number is called,” Hauser said.
Hauser on His Defense
Though Smart praised Hauser’s defensive efforts, Hauser himself believes there’s room for improvement in that department on his end.
“I think I still got work to do. I know I’m going to be involved in a lot of the actions, and I gotta hold my ground a little better, so that’s something I’ve got to work on, but overall I think I’m getting better,” Hauser said.
Hauser then talked about how hard it is to be a competent defender.
“Defense is tough and something you can always get better at,” he said. “So it’s something I’m going to try to do better, watch some film, learn from it and grow from it.”