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Joe Mazzulla on Sam Hauser: 'his confidence comes from his work ethic”

After another electric outing, Sam Hauser looks poised to make a serious impact on Boston’s bench scoring.

Charlotte Hornets v Boston Celtics Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

The Boston Celtics dropped their second game of the preseason in a 125-119 overtime loss to the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night, with the Celtics end-of-bench and camp invites getting the bulk of the workload in the second half.

There were some big bright spots including the performances of Jaylen Brown and Sam Hauser, who have both gotten off to hot starts to kick off the Celtics season. Brown finished his night with 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting, going 3-of-6 from deep along with four rebounds, an assist and a steal.

However, Brown might have been outshined by Hauser’s performance coming off the bench. The sharpshooter dropped 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting and a sizzling 5-of-8 from beyond the arc along with four rebounds and two assists. Hauser has been a revelation for Boston, as he continues his hot streak by going 9-of-13 from deep in two preseason games. In the wake of Danilo Gallinari’s injury, Hauser continues to look even more ready to step into a bigger role in Boston’s rotation.

After another great outing, head coach Joe Mazzulla credited his confidence to his work ethic, and said that Hauser “works really hard, does a great job of playing off others, and takes what the defense gives him.” Hauser recently inked a three-year contract extension with the team, and if this trend continues, the Celtics might have gotten a bargain for his services.

When asked if he was doing anything differently that was having an impact on his shot, Hauser said, "honestly, nothing really mechanically, just a lot of work. I get my shot off quicker. Just daily deposits in that aspect, and obviously it’s showing.”

Despite the success he’s had so far, Hauser is keeping things in perspective and said, “it’s only been two games, so I just need to keep doing what I’m doing.”

Newcomer Malcolm Brogdon is working as a facilitator off the bench, and has found Hauser a lot through two games of action. When asked about the duo’s developing chemistry, Hauser joked, “two Virginia guys. Got a little bit of a connection there.” He continued and said, “I know when I’m playing with him just to stay ready, because he knows where I’m at on the floor at all times. He’s easy to play with, he’s a playmaker and gets others’s fun playing with him.”

The forward said that his primary goal is to space the floor and to play off of the team’s ballhandlers, and just tries to that to the best of his ability.

For Hauser, minutes didn’t come easy last season, but the hot start to the preseason and the need for floor spacing changes things when it comes to his role this year. The crowd at TD Garden was in a fervor Wednesday night, and every time Hauser pulled up from deep, fans were prepared to go ballistic.

“It’s cool. I didn’t really get to play much last year and experience the atmosphere on the floor, so it’s been pretty cool these last couple games to take it all in. I can’t wait for the crowd in the regular season.”

Operating as a bench scorer, the toughest thing is to come into the game and get into a rhythm quickly, but that doesn’t seem to be phasing Hauser in the early going. “I think 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.”

On being a three-point shooter and whether he can fill that role for the Celtics, Hauser said, “For sure. That’s kind of what I’m known for, is shooting. That’s how I can help this team in the best way possible, so I’m gonna try and do that as best I can. But it goes back to the daily deposits in the gym and just working every day.”

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