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Celtics-Hornets halftime hot takes

After getting outscored by 10 in the second quarter, Boston trails Charlotte at halftime, 56-48. 

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Boston Celtics Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte can score with the best of them

According to the numbers, the Charlotte Hornets are one of the NBA’s elite offenses. They rank in the top ten in the league in points per game, three-point percentage, assists, and offensive rebounds. Simply put, Charlotte doesn’t have any actual weaknesses when it comes to putting the ball in the net.

While LaMelo Ball is the straw that stirs the drink for Charlotte, it boasts an upper-echelon offense because of steady scoring from players up and down the lineup. Remarkably, five Hornets average 16.6 points or more — no other team can say the same.

With Charlotte shooting over 50% at the break, the Celtics need to tighten up defensively in the second half to come out with a win. But, this will be easier said than done, considering the Hornets are second in the NBA in second-half scoring with 56.7 points.

What happened to Jaylen Brown’s handle?

One of the more puzzling storylines of the Celtics season has been Brown’s decline as a ball-handler. Last year, he had seemingly made massive strides in this area of his game as he added a wide variety of dribble moves to his toolbelt. Granted, Brown has still shown flashes of his once diverse, air-tight handle this season, but they have been few and far between.

Brown committed two turnovers in the first quarter alone because of careless ball handling. First, early on, the ball slipped off his fingertips mid-dribble and rolled out of bounds. Then, Kelly Oubre poked the ball free from Brown to end the quarter. Perhaps Brown’s ball-control troubles are a product of him getting in his head — they certainly aren’t because of a lack of ability. But his confidence handling the rock at the moment appears to be shaky at best. Hopefully, that changes.

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