The Boston Celtics Showed Off Their Secret Weapon After an Injury to Malcolm Brogdon
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown continued to lead the way for the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, with Tatum putting up 31 points and Brown adding 30. Malcolm Brogdon, acquired in an offseason trade to help bolster the bench, left Wednesday’s win over the Detroit Pistons with tightness in his right hamstring. He never returned.
Brogdon had nine points in 14 minutes, but his absence opened the door for Boston’s secret weapon, who took full advantage.
Sam Hauser had a career night for the Boston Celtics
Brogdon has become everything the Celtics needed. Boston addressed its biggest offseason need — depth — by trading five players and a draft pick for Brogdon. None of those five players were part of the team’s eight-man rotation.
Brogdon has been the leader of Boston’s second unit. He has proven he can be a scorer, a facilitator, and he can play defense. He’s also shown he’s had a tough time staying healthy. Last season with the Indiana Pacers, he was limited to 36 games because of an Achilles injury.
While Brogdon’s injury history is concerning, Sam Hauser made Celtics fans feel a bit better about things Wednesday night.
The 6-foot-8 sharpshooter finished with a career-high 24 points on 9-for-15 shooting. He made six of 12 shots from three-point range. Nobody on the team played more minutes than the second-year forward.
Brown said Hauser has been a key part of Boston’s offense.
“Sam is a value asset to our team, the way he spaces the floor, the way he shoots the ball but also the way he reads the game,” Brown said to reporters after the game. “So continuing to find ways to get him going and develop him, he can be a valuable asset for us down the line.”
Hauser continues to show his worth to the Celtics
Hauser provided instant offense off the bench Wednesday with his torrid shooting. He’s always been a strong shooter, but he’s never had an opportunity with the Celtics. He’s getting one now and taking full advantage.
“You’ve gotta show you can do it in the games, and in game-like moments, and I think I’ve done that so far,” Hauser said. “And I think little by little, I’m earning more trust in (head coach) Joe (Mazzulla). I still gotta keep doing other things though to earn minutes out there and keep earning my spot in the rotation.”
Hauser is shooting 53.3% from beyond the arc this year and 57.7% overall. His game, however, is not one-dimensional. He got some easy baskets cutting to the basket, and he said it’s those that give him the confidence he needs when he’s out there.
“When you see a couple of easy ones go, I think it helps open up the whole floor for you,” he said. “It definitely puts more confidence in your shot when you go back to the three-point line.”
Mazzulla is pleased with Hauser’s all-around offensive game.
“He’s a guy that can create separation. And so usually guys who can shoot the ball are also really good screeners,” Mazzulla said. “So I think putting him in the action is another guy that they have to worry about, along with Jayson and Jaylen, and whether it’s (Marcus) Smart or Al (Horford). So when you have him involved, it just adds another layer to how they’re gonna guard.”
While Brogdon’s injury is concerning, Hauser showed he’s good to go when called upon.