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First to the Floor: Abby Chin’s road rules and ranking the homestand games

Abby Chin joins the podcast to talk stories from the road, Kelly Olynyk eating burritos, and the upcoming homestand.

Boston Celtics v Golden State Warriors Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/NBAE via Getty Images

I don’t know what I enjoyed more about talking with NBC Boston’s Abby Chin on First to the Floor: her story about the whole team stopping to get Bojangles on a road trip or when Kelly Olynyk bet that he could eat a burrito in 3 bites or less? We discuss both those stories at length as well as what it’s like for Abby on the road, how much growth she’s seen out of the Jays in her time with the Cs, and, of course, what to expect on the upcoming homestand.

Other than the Bucks on Christmas Day, Abby had a somewhat surprising game she was most looking forward to: the Indiana Pacers. Since we didn’t get to spend a ton of time looking at all the teams the Celtics will play during their holiday staycation, let’s rank each contest of the seven-game homestand based on an Abby-related scale: how many Aaron Nesmiths does it earn.

The Orlando Magic (9-20) doubleheader

ORTG - 110.3 (24th)
DRTG - 114.8 (27th)
EFG - 53.3% (18th)
Opp. EFG - 54.2% (20th)
Opp. TOV% - 13.7% (24th)

The Magic are a very bad basketball team, but they’re at least interesting. Celtics scrapped together a win against the young Magic earlier this season, and they’re heading into the Garden on a bit of a heater with four wins in a row! Paolo Banchero presents matchup problems and I doubt Joe Mazzulla will want to run up miles on Rob Williams by forcing him to bang down low against Banchero post ups. Franz Wagner and Bol Bol have the size to bother the Jays on the wings, but I expect the Magic to have a lot of trouble defending the C’s read-and-react system. These should be some entertaining games, especially if Bol Bol does his best impression of a reindeer taking ballet lessons.

Excitement Rating: two Aaron Nesmiths missing open 3’s. Extremely exciting at first, but the ending leaves something to be desired.

Nesmith Comes Home with the Pacers (15-14)

ORTG - 111.9 (16th)
DRTG - 112.7 (20th)
EFG - 53.8% (16th)
Opp. EFG - 53.9% (18th)
Opp. TOV% - 16.1% (5th)

Nesmith returns, Tyrese Haliburton gunning passes everywhere, Ben Mathurin shooting every time the ball touches his hands, minimal defense being played. Yeah, this one should be fun. That said, the Pacers are the very definition of middling, which is just fine for a young fun team. Their shaky defense relies almost entirely on forcing turnovers; it would be ranked even worse than 20th if they weren’t top-5 in turning teams over. If the Celts take care of the ball, this should be a very winnable game, but we all know that’s easier said than done.

Excitement Rating: Aaron Nesmith!!!!

The TWolves Disappointment Express (13-15)

ORTG - 110.9 (18th)
DRTG - 112.1 (15th)
EFG - 54.6% (10th)
Opp. EFG - 53.8% (16th)
Opp. TOV% - 15.4% (12th)

The Timberwolves, like the Pacers, are the very definition of an average team. Unlike the Pacers, that’s an absolute disaster considering they traded every asset and parts of their coastline to Utah in the Rudy Gobert trade. KAT is out, but Anthony Edwards is always dynamic and interesting, even if he has to drive through Gobert’s defender after driving past his own. Jaden McDaniels is an excellent wing defender that can give one of the Jays fits, but unfortunately for the Wolves, the Celtics have two of them. Al Horford’s ability to stretch the floor and draw Gobert out of the paint will be huge for the C’s success.

Excitement Rating: one Aaron Nesmith grabbing a bizarrely impressive rebound.

Christmas Buck-bash (20-7)

ORTG - 111.6 (17th)
DRTG - 106.6 (1st)
EFG - 53.2% (20th)
Opp. EFG - 50.7% (1st)
Opp. TOV% - 12.8% (29th)

The one we’ve all been waiting for. The two best teams in the league on Christmas Day. Rob Williams and Khris Middleton should both be back. The league’s best defense against the league’s best offense. An incredible two-way superstar against a superstar that commits offensive fouls on every drive. Marcus Smart vs. Jrue Holiday. Bobby Portis and his scary eyes. This game has it all. I can’t wait, Celtics by 100.

Excitement Rating: 100 Aaron Nesmiths diving into the stands for a loose ball.

Oh yeah, we play the Rockets, too (9-18)

ORTG - 109.4 (26th)
DRTG - 114.8 (26th)
EFG - 51.0% (28th)
Opp. EFG - 55.3 (27th)
Opp. TOV% - 14.9% (15th)

The Rockets have some nice young talent. They are very, very bad at basketball, much like the Hornets. The Celtics beat the Hornets by around 50 points, so they should take care of the Rockets. Jalen Green is exciting and Jabari Smith Jr. plays defense. See you in a few years Houston.

Excitement Rating: one Romeo Langford.

I cannot stress enough how amazing Abby was on the show, so please, please give it a listen. You can subscribe to the podcast on any podcast app with the CelticsBlog feed. You can catch every First to the Floor and Green with Envy pod there. As always, thanks for listening!

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