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Opportunity knocks for Sam Hauser

With an off-season injury to a key free agent signing, the sharpshooter has a chance to crack the rotation of a contender.

Toronto Raptors (125) Vs. Boston Celtics (119) at TD Garden, Preseason Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

With Danilo Gallinari at the Auerbach Center giving an update on his possible season-ending knee surgery and recovery plan, the player who many believe will soak up Gallo’s minutes was tearing it up in practice.

So far this preseason, Sam Hauser has been on fire, hitting 12-of-20 of his three-pointers through three games. During practice, a mic’d up Jayson Tatum said, “you can shoot, bro. Real well.”

It’s not surprising that Hauser has emulated some of the best shooters in the league.

“Khris Middleton. Klay Thompson. As of recently, (Max) Strus and Duncan Robinson. Joe Harris as well, a Virginia guy. I can take bits and pieces from each and use it to what I do best,” Hauser said after practice on Monday.

Hauser inked a three-year, $5.7 million contract last summer and it’s already paying dividends for him and the team. The game has slowed down for him on both ends of the floor. He believes he’s “made good strides” on the defensive end, but ultimately, his largest impact will come on offense.

“Just trying to get there early. That means sprinting to wherever I go,” Hauser said of finding his most effective spots on the floor and being ready to support his teammates on the floor. “I’m told to get in the corners, find openings when guys drive, and things like that.”

Hauser will attempt to fit his 6’7 frame in the 6’10 hole left by Gallo and if the early returns are any indication, he’s fitting in just fine.

“You kind of have to have the next man up mentality. Obviously, you never want to see someone go down like that, but I’ll be ready for whenever my number is called. Whatever opportunities I get, I’m excited for that.”

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