Mavs writer slants Boston Celtics' 'stay-ready' bench group

Miami Heat v Boston Celtics Game One
Miami Heat v Boston Celtics Game One / Winslow Townson/GettyImages

The Smoking Cuban's Will Miller believes the Boston Celtics' "stay-ready" bench group, specifically Payton Pritchard and Sam Hauser, doesn't compare to the Dallas Mavericks' three-guard troika of Josh Green, Jaden Hardy, and Dante Exum after the Mavs got 23 points from the group in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals; in a loss, mind you.

"...the Mavericks still unequivocally maintain the deeper bench," Miller wrote. "It should be noted that the pending return of Kristaps Porzingis to Boston's lineup will move Al Horford to the bench for the Celtics in all likelihood, but the Celtics don't really have any other dynamic players off the bench unless Payton Pritchard or Sam Hauser get hot from the outside.

"Dallas on the other hand has three tried and true rotation pieces from the guard and wing spots off the bench, as the likes of Dante Exum, Josh Green, and Jaden Hardy all stepped up in some big moments against the Timberwolves in this past series on both sides of the ball."

Payton Pritchard and Sam Hauser have chance to solidify their places in Boston Celtics history

It's possible that Horford stays starting and Porzingis becomes the primary backup pivot, but that nitpick aside, it's hard not to sense the disrespect of Pritchard and Hauser from Miller in a piece entitled "5 Reasons the Mavericks will destroy the Celtics in the NBA Finals."

Sure, Pritchard has only had one big series (against the Cleveland Cavaliers) and Hauser hasn't been a factor since the Miami Heat series, but all season, the pair has proven everyone wrong and provided the Cs a legitimate second unit. Remember, prior to the 2023-24 season's tip-off, Boston's bench was a major question mark. At this point, only their relative offseason ineffectiveness during a 12-2 run can be nitpicked.

And it's a fair nitpick, especially when you consider the ceiling is higher for Green and Hardy, and Exum is finally finding a suitable role in the NBA a decade after being taken No. 5 overall in the 2014 draft.

But don't count out a legacy series for both as they look to join the likes of PJ Brown and the late great Bill Walton as all-time Boston bench players.