Celtics Key Reserve Explains Unique Role Off the Bench

There are no holes in the starting five of Boston Celtics. Every player can score and defend, and it’s why there’s no better starting core in the NBA.

How Sam Hauser can pop off in the Celtics' evolving offense - The Athletic

If there were any concerns about Boston this year, it was depth. Typically, the Celtics go eight deep, and those top three players off the bench have a specific role. Recently, Sam Hauser, Boston’s best long-range shooter, revealed what it takes for him to be a key factor in Boston’s quest to hang Banner 18 from the rafters this season.

Sam Hauser Talks Coming Off the Bench Cold

There might not be a tougher role in the NBA than being asked to come off the bench and quickly drain a bunch of 3-pointers. It’s a role that Sam Hauser is accustomed to, and it’s one he does well.

Hauser, undrafted in 2021 after playing three college seasons at Marquette and another at Virginia, is in his third year with the Celtics and finds himself playing a major role off the bench on the team with the best record in the NBA.

Hauser’s role is to provide instant long-range offense off the bench. This season, he’s taken 161 shots, 130 of them have been from behind the 3-point arc. He’s shooting 41.7% from afar this year and 41.8% in his NBA career. Hauser is consistent, but more importantly, he’s confident in his ability to shoot.

“I always knew I could shoot from a younger age,” Hauser said during a live episode of the “View From the Rafters” podcast. “There’s still another step I can get to become an elite, elite shooter.”

Hauser explained that he works hard in practice at specifically learning to come into the game cold off the bench.

“In practice, I work with Coach DJ (MacLeay),” Hauser said. “This year, I work with Coach Craig (Luschenat). We’ll do things, and like in the middle of the workout, just stop, and I go sit down for like a minute or two. Then I’ll just run onto the court, and they’ll throw it to me wherever, and I’ve got to make it.”

“Just trying to simulate coming off the bench after resting a little bit and getting thrown back into a game. There’s definitely little things you can try to work on to do that type of thing when it’s your role and your job.”

Hauser Says He Always Needs To Be in Rhythm

Coming off the bench and being thrown into a game can be difficult. For Hauser, it’s just what he does. When you have stars like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, you’ve got to fill a role. Hauser does it to near perfection.

“I just trust in all the work I’ve put in, and there’s no reason to have my confidence waver when I know all the hours and shots that I’ve put up throughout my life,” Hauser said. “At this point, it’s second nature.

“Just trust in that and not let it waver even though if I miss 10 in a row, which I think I’ve done this year, try to bounce back quickly. That’s the beauty of the NBA. There’s always another game.

“My job is to be in rhythm no matter what. It’s part of the gig.”

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