Takeaways from Boston Celtics' drubbing of Washington Wizards: Sam Hauser nearly makes history

Boston Celtics v Washington Wizards
Boston Celtics v Washington Wizards / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

The Boston Celtics routed the Washington Wizards on March 17 in a 130-104 blowout —a final line that can't capture how lopsided this game was from the tip.

Even without a trio of starters, including the molten-hot Jaylen Brown, this was never a fair fight. The Celtics could get any shot they wanted against a Wizards defense that was so putrid that it was hard to analyze what they were trying to accomplish. It's not like offensive weapons like Jordan Poole, Eugene Omoruyi, and Jules Bernard could overcompensate. You can't show up to a gunfight with ball peen hammers.

Despite the tremendous disparity in every aspect of basketball between the two sides, there are still plenty of points to break down. It's time to dive into all the thoughts from the massive win in the nation's capital.

Boston Celtics takeaways vs Washington Wizards

Sam Hauser's Career Afternoon

Boston virtually has six starters, but the seventh spot in the rotation has been up for grabs. Sam Hauser has been the firm leader in the clubhouse to take that role, which he likely permanently seized with his recent performance.

Hauser came out firing, as interim Wizards coach Brian Keefe seemed to be struggling to get his defense to adjust to pin-downs and floppy screens. Hauser was getting such clean releases that it looked like he was just tossing shots up at practice. His confidence exuded through the television screen, and he was doing all his damage within the flow of the offense—never forcing it just because he was hot.

Hauser hit seven triples in the first half alone before adding three in the third quarter to become only the third Celtic to amass ten or more threes in a game. When it looked like he had a legitimate chance to challenge Klay Thompson's NBA record for most threes in a game, he tripped on the sideline and rolled his ankle. Assuming it's nothing serious, this was one of the best shooting displays in the league's history and shows how far Hauser has come as a player.

Jayson Tatum continues to default to Mazzulla ball

No matter how much muscle Jayson Tatum puts on during the offseason, he seems to always rely on launching shots from beyond the arc. Will that rear its ugly head? We'll see.

This playstyle worked wonderfully against the hopeless Wizards. Tatum poured in six threes of his own with excellent efficiency to go along with his 30 points. After a concerning start to the season from deep, Tatum is shooting nearly 38% from three.

The problem becomes when Patrick Baldwin Jr. isn't across from him and the shot isn't falling. It happens more than Celtics fans care to admit, and the backup plan hasn't always looked great. Against such a depleted team, it would've been nice to see Tatum do more work on the low block and develop the inside-out game he's lacked as a playmaker.

It feels gross to nitpick such a stellar all-around performance, but habits carry over. At what point will Tatum use his frame to dominate in the paint? We've seen glimpses, but nothing sustainable. With the playoffs around the corner, I'm keeping an eye on it.

The curious case of Xavier Tillman

Health is a significant concern for the Celtics, particularly in the frontcourt. Kristaps Porzingis has struggled throughout his career with nagging injuries, and Al Horford has been shockingly durable but is still 37 years old. That makes it all the more confusing that Xavier Tillman has yet to get consistent minutes.

Even with Luke Kornet playing his best basketball lately, Tillman is still a better option in certain matchups. Not even a year ago, Tillman gave Anthony Davis fits in a playoff series, showing he is a special defensive stopper against offensive-minded bruisers.

Not getting him better-adequated feels like a mistake. In a game that was out of hand in the blink of an eye, with Porzingis on the sidelines, Tillman playing 15 minutes is inexcusable. He is a viable choice against teams like the Bucks, Magic, and Nuggets, whom the Celtics would likely see in the postseason. With the playoffs looming and the schedule easing, the team can't afford to waste any time integrating Tillman. He needs to be a seamless part of the system if they want him to contribute to the chase for Banner 18.