Sam Hauser does more than just catch-and-shoot threes

Over the past few seasons, Celtics fans yearned for a knockdown shooter, especially after facing guys like Duncan Robinson and Khris Middleton. When the ball left their hands, you just assumed it was going in.

Coming into the season, Sam Hauser was a player who fans thought could be their sharpshooting three-point specialist.

Hauser is shooting 40.3% from three while averaging 8.2 points. Despite being known as a three-point shooter, Hauser has enjoyed scoring in multiple ways this season and it all starts with his off-ball movement. 

Hauser has had success cutting backdoor. Whether it’s by design or impromptu, having the ability to read your defender’s over-aggressiveness to your advantage is key for a three-point shooter.

Hauser has also improved driving close-outs. Similar to the backdoor cuts, Hauser has been reading the floor well when he gets the ball. Having the reputation as a shooter, opponents tend to rush to close him down. When they’re too aggressive on the close-out, Hauser has shown he can drive off of the three-point line to get a basket.

Hauser has found new ways to score instead of just standing outside the arc waiting for a catch-and-shoot opportunity. However, his job is to still knocking down threes and space the floor, especially when Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are on the court.

One of Hauser’s strengths this season has been his off-ball movement which creates space for his shot.

Against San Antonio, Hauser ran his route where he came off of Luke Kornet’s screen. However, he read the play and realized Jrue Holiday was driving to the rim, so he changed direction and made himself available in the corner.

When he’s on the floor, Hauser is rarely static. He’s always trying to relocate to give the driver an option. Whenever Hauser’s opponent turns their head, Hauser is on the move.

Below is a compilation from Tomek Kordylewski, showing Hauser’s off-ball movement.

With questions regarding the Celtics bench at the beginning of the season, guys like Hauser have stepped up and played a big role in the first unit off the bench. It’s a credit to the offseason work he’s put in and understanding his role that has made him a reliable option off the bench.

 

 

Gideon Canice

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