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Celtics-Rockets halftime hot takes

In the second quarter, the Celtics outscored the Rockets by ten to take a two-point halftime lead, 53-51.

NBA: Boston Celtics at Houston Rockets Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics are winning the turnover battle!

Heading into tonight’s game, Boston led the NBA in turnovers (21.5) and transition points allowed (33) per game. Meanwhile, the Rockets sat just behind the Celtics in both categories at 29th in the league. With two of the most careless teams facing off, it’s no secret that turnovers will play a role in who wins. And through two quarters, the C’s have been far and away the more conservative club.

At the half, the Celtics have committed only four blunders compared to the Rockets’ 11. The starting backcourt of Marcus Smart and Dennis Schroeder did a commendable job of pressuring the Houston ball handlers as they combined for four first-half steals. Additionally, Boston enters the break ahead in points off turnovers by a massive 18-2 margin. It’s encouraging to see the green get back to minimizing mistakes after turnovers dug them in the first two games of the season.

Nesmith’s shooting struggles continue

After an excellent Summer League and preseason, it appeared Nesmith would be a key rotation cog this season. He still can be, of course, as the new campaign has just begun. However, Nesmith has had a rocky start to his sophomore year. The Vanderbilt product has yet to get on the board for the Celtics in 2021-22. He’s 0-for-9 from the field, with eight of his attempts coming from behind the arc.

It’s much too early to worry about Nesmith. He’s still confidently letting it fly and hustling on defense/for loose balls. However, suppose his perimeter woes persist over a larger sample size. In that case, he may not last in the rotation. He’s battling for minutes with Josh Richardson and the now ultra-aggressive and productive Romeo Langford. Here’s to hoping Nesmith finds the range sooner rather than later.