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Celtics S/P/L bench trio is SPeciaL

 I'm talking about Sam Hauser, Payton Pritchard and Luke Kornet. In Boston's convincing defeat of the Atlanta Hawks (126-101), these three "Pine Brothers" combined for 44 points and 17 rebounds. The trio hit on 17-of-21 (81%) from the field and 10-of-13 from the "Great Beyond" (77%).

My early concerns about the big man, Kornet, and the little guy, Pritchard, fitting in with the "position-less" focus of Brad Stevens and Ime Udoka have been partially erased. Joe Mazzulla has found a way to utilize his bench quite effectively.

Luke may never morph into a physical presence underneath the hoop, but like Rob Williams, he showed he can get easy hoops via lobs and other close-to-the-basket opportunities. Here's his shot chart from last night:

Notice anything? No misses. That cluster of green under the hoop signifies six made shots - plus Luke hit his sole 3-pointer. And he added four blocks to the mix. Last night showed promise for the big guy.

Question. What Celtics player had the team-high in plus/minus - none other than Sam Hauser with a plus 35. All six of his shots were from 3-point range, and he only missed one. And his six boards show he adds more than marksmanship.

Kudos to Coach Joe Mazzulla. He is not afraid to utilize his bench in a way that employs their strengths. Injuries have forced his hand, and he has responded beautifully. 


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