When Danilo Gallinari tore his ACL, which is likely to keep him out for the season, the Boston Celtics could have added another veteran scorer to take his place in the rotation, like Carmelo Anthony. However, the Celtics opted for an in-house replacement for Gallinari with second-year wing Sam Hauser.
Hauser’s lack of experience frightened some, but his preseason performance has quickly won Celtics fans over, having hit nine of his first 11 three-pointers.
In an interview with Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston, Hauser talked about what it’s like for him to be in a new role in light of Gallinari’s awful injury.
“It sucked when that happened (to Gallinari). You never wish that upon anyone, but it does create an opportunity for a guy like me or even Luke with Rob (Williams) being out too. I view it as an opportunity. I don’t see it as pressure or anything like that. It’s just a chance to show what I can do and hopefully stick in this rotation.”
Hauser also made it clear that his aim is to thrive in the role given to him by the Celtics for this upcoming season.
“Honestly, I’m asked to be a three-point shooter, given the roster we have. I’m going to do that as best as I can and then impact on defense as much as I can and just try to be in the right spot at the right time and do all the little things. Honestly, I don’t really expect to do anything much differently. I’m just trying to play my role the best I can in that role.”
Hauser Sounds Off on Last Year’s Finals
Hauser only played in 11 minutes total when the Celtics faced off against the Golden State Warriors in the 2022 NBA Finals. All of his minutes were played when the games had already been decided, but he still got to participate on a team that made it to the NBA’s final round in his first year with the league.
While talking to Forsberg, Hauser reflected on what it was like to be on the league’s biggest stage in his first NBA season.
“Going to the finals was crazy. It was hard to take into perspective where we were at while it was going on until it was over. Looking back, it’s a special journey that I’ll never forget,” Hauser said.
Hauser Shout Out Fan Support
Even though the Celtics would go on to lose to the Toronto Raptors during their October 5 matchup, Hauser let the fans know how much he appreciates their support for him after the game.
“It’s cool. I didn’t get to play much last year and experience the atmosphere on the floor. It’s been pretty cool these last couple of games to take it all in. I can’t wait for the crowd in the regular season.”
The Celtics crowd had been cheering Hauser on because he’s demonstrated how often he can hit his three-pointers. Hauser then detailed why it’s so important for him to hit from deep from the get-go when he’s on the floor.
“When you come off the bench, and you’re able to make your first one, your confidence shoots up. It’s not an easy thing to do to come in cold and try to make shots, but that’s what I’m asked to do, so I’m just trying to do that to the best I can.”
Hauser is playing the role the Celtics originally had in mind for Gallinari when they signed him this summer, but through two preseason games, Hauser has shown to have filled in nicely for Gallinari as the second unit’s sharpshooter.