Boston Celtics second-year sharpshooter Sam Hauser has seen himself phased out of the rotation during the last six games after being in a shooting slump since the middle of November.
With being short staffed on the road, Hauser finally got a real opportunity to play meaningful minutes on Monday night in Orlando, finishing with 13-points on 5-of-9 shooting in 19 minutes off the bench.
After the game, Hauser was asked about what he needs to do to get back on the court in meaningful minutes for this team.
“It was good to get back in the rotation. It was a good opportunity for some of us to come in and provide productive minutes, not playing the last couple of games, it motivates you to work harder. When you get your chance, you don’t want to take it for granted.”
During this time, Payton Pritchard leaped Hauser in the rotation and has played a productive role off the bench for the Celtics in this span of games Hauser was sidelined. To which, Hauser acknowledged he wasn’t helping the team and he was happy to see Pritchard take on a role that allowed him to take his minutes to do so.
“Payton had been playing really well, as a coach, you have to feel out what’s working, you have to stay with that. If that means some guys get demoted in minutes, it is what it is. Nothing really to complain about. You’ve got to just keep working”
Hauser shot the ball well and was productive for the first time since November. He has one job when he’s on the court and it’s to be a shooting threat, if he’s unable to do that, the Celtics will fill that role with someone who can, and lately that’s been Pritchard.
It’ll be interesting to see what coach Joe Mazzulla does moving forward if both Hauser and Pritchard prove to be too valuable not to play in the rotation.
The Celtics take on the Heat tonight in Miami at 7:30 PM at the FTX Arena.
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Photo Credit: Charles Krupa, AP