Coming out of the Orlando Summer League, there were a lot of people that were high on the prospects of Boston Celtics rookie big man Kelly Olynyk. As the 13th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Olynyk looked very much like he could be the steal of this draft class with the way he performed at Summer League.
In five games in Orlando, the Celtics rookie displayed a vast array of skills in a number of areas. He averaged 18 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.8 steals in only 24.2 minutes per game while shooting an impressive 57.8 percent from the floor. Olynyk showed a ton of offensive ability both in the post and with a solid jump shot.
However, Olynyk was definitely brought back to Earth on Monday night in the Celtics’ first preseason game against the Toronto Raptors. In just under 19 minutes on the floor, Olynyk put up just four points, five assists, two rebounds and one block. To make matters worse he shot only 1-5 from the floor, committed four fouls in his limited time on the floor, and also turned the ball over three times.
Against better competition and in something closer to an actual NBA game than Summer League, Olynyk struggled to get his offense going. His short wingspan and lack of athleticism definitely showed while he was on the floor on Monday night and caused him problems in many aspects of the game.
If you’re looking for positives, Olynyk is still a savvy basketball player. He has solid instincts with the ball which led to some solid interior passing and some good decision making at times.
However, as the Celtics move forward to the regular season, Olynyk definitely needs work if he’s going to be a big contributor for them. Sure, not many people expect the Celts to be great this season, but having a quality young player could make the season more bearable. He’s going to have to work on becoming a craftier player to get around his physical shortcomings if he wants to make an impact in this league. He has the talent, but he definitely still needs time in the gym.
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