One of the few bright spots in the 2013-14 Boston Celtics‘ season was seeing young players develop and improve throughout the season. Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger and Phil Pressey came into the season with little experience and a lot to prove. It has been interesting to see how each of these young players developed under the direction of Brad Stevens. Olynyk is a player who has improved mightily throughout his rookie season.
The 7-footer has a unique set of skills for his size, and projects to be an excellent offensive player. He can face-up, hit perimeter shots, runs the floor well, and is a terrific passer. Olynyk is averaging 8.4 points and 5.2 rebounds, while shooting 36 percent from beyond the arc in nearly 20 minutes per game. However, in the month of April, he is averaging 15.6 points and 7.3 rebounds, while shooting 47 percent from three in 25 minutes of action per game. The rookie is making strides as the season winds down.
Against the Philadelphia 76ers, Olynyk scored 28 points, grabbed nine boards and recorded three assists. The previous game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Olynyk had himself another impressive night with 25 points and 12 rebounds.
Olynyk has plenty of downside to his game as well. He is extremely slow, does not play tough defense, lacks significant strength, and has a below-average post game. Nonetheless, all the negative aspects of Olynyk’s game can be improved with the right work ethic.
Olynyk does not project as a starter; in fact, it is difficult to determine how much of a ceiling he has. The rookie big man will be a role player and an extremely valuable piece on a contending team. Having a big man who can score off the bench is a rare commodity in the league today. No matter his potential, Olynyk should be a reliable player for the Celtics for years to come.