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Halftime Hot Takes: a Sleepy Start in the Windy City

Chicago leads Boston 63-50

Boston Celtics v Chicago Bulls Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

Slow Starts

The Celtics scored at least 30 first-quarter points over their past six games, but tonight the shots weren’t falling. They opened shooting 1 of 8 from the field, and the Jays each had two turnovers in the first six minutes. But the Bulls weren’t too much better, starting 2 of 7, and they led 28-23 after 12 minutes. The Celtics took 22 shots and 17 of them were 3’s — that must be a record for three-point attempt rate for a single quarter (stat nerds: please confirm).

Luke Kornet: Winning Player

The basic box score watcher would see that Kornet picked up two fouls within his first minute of playing time. But upon closer examination, he made an immediate impact. First, he had an offensive rebound tip out to Malcolm Brogdon, who sunk the open three. Then he deflected a Zach LaVine pass and forced a Bulls turnover. He’s finding new ways to put his imprint on the game, but unfortunately for Luke, the rest of the league is figuring out the “Kornet Kontest.”

Jaylen Leads the Charge

With the Celtics down 15 early in the 2nd quarter, Jaylen responded by scoring 12 points in under five minutes on an array of fadeaways and fancy-footwork drives. With DeRozan heating up for Chicago, Boston could have let this game get away from them, but Jaylen was the stabilizing force when nobody else could buy a bucket.

Chairmen of the Boards

Nicola Vucevic had 7 rebounds in his first nine minutes, while Andre Drummond had 10 in eight minutes. The Celtics are the 5th worst offensive rebounding team in the NBA, and Vuc/Drummond clean the defensive glass as well as any centers in the league, but I don’t remember two guys having such dominant rebounding halves. As a team, the Bulls outrebounded the Celtics 35-24.

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