Joe Mazzulla shows love to his 'Day One' Boston Celtics second unit standouts

Joe Mazzulla showed love to his "Day One" second-unit standouts from his days coaching the Boston Celtics' Summer League team after a 128-111 win over the Orlando Magic on December 15.
Boston Celtics v New York Knicks
Boston Celtics v New York Knicks / Elsa/GettyImages

Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla showed love for his "Day One" second unit standouts, Payton Pritchard and Sam Hauser, in an impassioned speech following the C's bench carrying the team to a 128-111 victory over the Orlando Magic on December 15.

“I mean, like I said, those guys since Day One,” Mazzulla said of Pritchard and Hauser (h/t MassLive). “I coached them both in summer league, so I’ve always known they were going to be great rotation players, and I had full confidence in them last year, and full confidence in them this year. And again, I keep saying it, but what they do every day, they work out together every day. And I think the growth for them this year has been on the defensive end. They continue to get better in our system.”

Hauser and Pritchard combined for 32 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists off the pine for the Celtics in the statement win over the Magic; who had beaten Boston in the previous four meetings between the two teams dating back to the 2022-23 season.

Payton Pritchard and Sam Hauser more likely to be in Boston Celtics postseason rotation than trade elsewhere

What we're more likely to see come the postseason, according to MassLive's Brian Robb, is Pritchard and Hauser receiving playoff minutes than it is seeing any replacements for the former first-rounder and undrafted signing.

"With trade season opening up on Friday, there may be a temptation to suggest eye-opening adds for the Celtics roster," Robb prefaced before saying, "However, any mid-sized deal would involve matching salary which likely would mean Pritchard would have to head out the door. At this point, he’s starting to show more that wouldn’t necessarily be an upgrade. Instead, he along with Hauser look worthy of playoff minutes off the bench."

If Boston can ride the wave of momentum created by knocking off the Magic on the strength of their underused non-guaranteed signings, perhaps Brad Stevens will avoid the temptation of adding talent at the cost of extra tax penalty payments and draft capital.