The Boston Celtics were handed their 11th-straight road loss as the Washington Wizards clinched their first playoff berth since 2008. In a season with nothing to look forward to but the end, Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk offer a glimmer of hope for the Celtics’ future.
Sullinger has really been the Celtics’ best and most consistent player all season long. He is certainly becoming a terrific power forward in the NBA. Wednesday he scored 25 points on 8-of-15 shooting and hit eight of his 10 free throws. However, he did not display the type of tenacious rebounding we have become accustomed to seeing. Sully only grabbed four boards in the entire game. Nonetheless, his offensive output was most impressive considering the size of the Wizards’ back court.
Kelly Olynyk, who has become a much more consistent player, also had himself a decent night on the court. He struggled a bit from behind the arc but managed to score 14 points and grab four rebounds. It Doesn’t look like much, but he was the second-highest scorer on the Celtics. Whenever a rookie big man scores double-digit points it is worth noting.
We are looking at the two youngest players on the Celtics roster and possibly the future of the front court. Olynyk does not project to be a starter, but he’s going to be a nice option off the bench once this team is structured to compete. He’s done well this season and should continue to improve.
Sullinger, who has drawn Kevin Love comparisons, could quite possibly be an All-Star power forward in the NBA someday. He’s a bit undersized, but he is a post-up threat, knocks down perimeter shots and is a solid rebounder. There’s still plenty more to develop in his game and physical presence, but he should regularly average 16 points and eight rebounds in his career.
Celtics fans certainly have a future to look forward to if these two big men improve their skills, continue to develop and work hard.