The Boston Celtics are now just one win away from the NBA championship and the storylines surrounding their looming victory remain focused on their top six players.

However, Boston’s reserves have also played a key role in this postseason run and have continued to make essential contributions in the NBA Finals. Sam Hauser in particular has emerged as a major piece for the Celtics and he was especially crucial in their 106-99 win in Game 3 of the NBA Finals.

The 6’8 forward made three of his four three-point attempts in Game 3 to finish with nine points while also recording three rebounds and one assists. These seemingly mundane statistics do not tell the full story of Hauser’s impact though. He played strong defense all throughout the contest as he continued to dispel the belief that he is merely a one-dimensional three-point shooter.

Hauser’s efforts in Game 3 generally went unnoticed to the casual fan, but one statistic that stood out in particular was his game-high +/- of +16 in only 14 minutes of play. This was not a one-of though and has actually been the norm for the entirety of this season. He led the league in net-rating during the regular season and carried this over to the playoffs.


The gravity of Hauser on the offensive end whenever he is on the court opens up driving lanes for Boston. His uncanny ability to shoot the ball off the catch without having to bring it back down is elite and is a big part of what makes him such a threat.

On the other end of the floor, Hauser’s above average defense makes it unlikely that opponents will hunt him for a perceived mismatch. He moves his feet well and has proven that he has solid defensive instincts as well.

The third-year forward is not your typical floor-spacer and has made opposing teams pay for underestimating him/

With the way that the 26-year-old Hauser has played this season, his three-year contract worth $5.6 million with the Celtics has become one of the biggest bargains in the NBA today. This deal runs until the end of the ‘24-’25 season and if he continues to play this way until then, it is not far fetched to imagine rival teams offering him lucrative contracts which will make it difficult for Boston to maintain him given how much of their payroll is committed to their stars.

If the Celtics can successfully wrap up this series against the Dallas Mavericks and win the NBA title, it will immortalize Hauser’s place among the notable role players in this franchise’s history who have made significant contributions in their many championship runs.

A team cannot become a contender without a superstar (or two), yet no good team can become a great one without the help of top tier supporting players who embrace their role like how Hauser has with this Boston team.