Last Word On Basketball

Celtics rotation battles: Sam Hauser vs Oshae Brissett

Apr 27, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Boston Celtics forward Sam Hauser (30) shoots the ball over Atlanta Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic (13) in the first quarter during game six of the 2023 NBA playoffs at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics’ one through seven of their rotation is pretty set. However, the 8th spot in their rotation is up for grabs. Returning player Sam Hauser and newcomer Oshae Brissett will be two wings competing for quality minutes in the rotation. Both players are looking to make a jump and establish themselves as key parts of Boston’s rotation. 

Celtics rotation battles: Sam Hauser vs Oshae Brissett

Sam Hauser: Ready for a bigger role

Sam Hauser is coming off a solid second season. Where he showed a lot of improvement from his rookie season establishing himself as the 9th man in the rotation. Hauser’s 16 minutes per game could increase with further improvement and possible open forward minutes. Hauser is a knockdown spot-up shooter and high IQ player. Head coach Joe Mazzulla heavily values 3-point shooting Hauser’s shooting alone will be enough to keep him in the Celtics rotation. Additionally, having dependable catch-and-shoot players around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown is a massive plus. 

Last year, Hauser was constantly attacked on defense however he held up well for the most part. Hauser isn’t a great athlete or very laterally quick but his high IQ and good defensive positioning allowed him to play respectable defense while being consistently targeted. There is still room for improvement for Hauser on defense which could help boost his minutes even more. In terms of other areas for improvements, Hauser could add more off the dribble and as a shot creator. Well, Hauser will likely never excel in these areas, being more of a threat as a creator would greatly benefit his game and earn him more minutes. 

With Hauser’s elite shooting ability and the departure of  Grant Williams. Many people are expecting Hauser to make a big jump this year in terms of production, minutes and overall importance to the team. But how does his game compare to Oshae Brissett and how does the addition of Brissett affect Hauser’s minutes? 

Oshae Brissett: How does he fit with the Celtics

The Celtics signed Oshae Brissett to a 2 year 4 million dollar contract. Brissett joins the Celtics after playing three seasons with the Pacers. Brissett is a gritty defender who can guard multiple positions. On offense, Brissett is comfortable playing off the ball both as a cutter and spot-up shooter. Making him a natural fit next to Boston’s stars. The concern with Brissett is offensive consistency.

Brissett is coming off a down year with the Pacers. Where his scoring, finishing, 3-point shooting and minutes all dipped. Brissett shot an impressive 42% from beyond the arc in 2020-21 before dipping down to 31% last year. In both the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons Brissett was a fairly consistent offensive threat. Both as a finisher and 3 point shooter. In those two seasons Brissett was a key part of Indiana’s rotation. Brissett was a solid two-way presence who had some unexpected scoring outbursts. This included a 31 point performance against Toronto in 2021 and a 27 point performance against Boston in 2022. 

If Brissett can return to his level of play from 2 years ago he could be an important part of the Celtics rotation. Brissett’s skill set is valuable. He gives the Celtics another wing defender with upside on offense. However, if Brissett continues to struggle with offensive consistency it will be hard for him to crack the rotation. Worst case scenario, Brissett continues to struggle as a shooter and finisher leading to him receiving occasional minutes as an extra wing defender.   

The Last Word

Ultimately right now Hauser has proven himself more and shown he deserves a rotation over Brissett. Hauser’s knockdown shooting ability and possible growth in his third year warrant an increased role with the team. Brissett will have to prove his worth as a new member of the Celtics and return to his past seasons form to get more minutes in the rotation. The battle between these two intriguing wing players with vastly different skill sets is something to watch. Both players could have surprisingly important roles with the team but as of now Hauser is more likely to make a jump and become a key rotational player.

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