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Halftime hot takes - Brown hot, Tatum cold

And the Celtics are playing down the competition

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

Normally when bad teams play good teams, the bad team will play inspired ball for a quarter or so, then water finds its level and the good team slowly pulls away. That hasn’t always been the case for the Celtics this year. The Rockets are a bad, bad basketball team. They are built that way with talented young players that haven’t learned how to play yet. But if you let them play their game, they can hang around, and take advantage.

Tatum is ice cold so far

Jayson Tatum hasn’t looked great thus far. At the half he’s shooting 1-7 from 3 and only has 9 points. He has been sloppy with the ball (3 turnovers), lackadaisical on defense, and even missed a wide open dunk.

Of course he has a habit of starting slow and heating up fast. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if he end the game with 30 points. Nobody should be worried about the bigger picture with Tatum. Except maybe that he sometimes loses focus in low stakes games. Hopefully that wouldn’t be a problem in the playoffs though.

Then again, maybe Tatum will be happy on cruise control while he let’s Jaylen Brown cook.

Jaylen Brown on fire so far

As cold as Tatum has been, Brown has been that hot. Right from the opening tip, he’s been attacking the paint, finding the creases in the defense, knocking down 3’s, and dropping impossible to defend fadeaway shots in the paint. Without him the Celtics would be in a huge hole tonight.

Be the better team

This isn’t Rockets science (sorry - had to). The Celtics just need to run their normal offense (without getting too creative), attack the boards, and give a full effort on defense and they should win this game going away. If the don’t end up winning this game, it will go down as one of the worst losses of the season (given the opponent). Let’s not do that, shall we?

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