|Posted on July 8, 2013 at 5:10 AM|
Olynyk has certainly got our attention. In his first game with the Celtics, although not a real NBA game, but a nice fun pick up game with up and coming rookies, with second year players, and NBA hopefuls. Olynk was solid with a 25 point performance.
But this is why president of basketball operations Danny Ainge traded up to draft the Gonzaga center with the 13th pick. Olynyk was the most offensively skilled center on the draft board — miles ahead of Nerlens Noel and even Alex Len in terms of his ability to see the floor.
All of that vision and polish came out in Olynyk’s first game in a Celtics uniform. He not only scored 25 points on 9-for-12 shooting, hitting from a shot chart’s worth of spots, he also laced passes out of the high post and generally boosted the floor’s overall IQ level.
“I would just be guessing at what he meant, but I’m guessing he means how I make plays and see the floor,” Olynyk said of Pressey’s compliment. “My (vision) is all right, but it can still get better.”
When it comes to defense, I hope we see more later on,but right now the Celtics have a very young, and talented front line of Sully and Olynyk. I think Danny saw his amazing offensive skill set and couldn't pass it up. I hate to say this,because I'm a huge Sully fan. But I'll say it anyway. If Olynyk and Sully play similar games. I think Danny could end up dealing Sully. I only say this because Sully is good on the defensive end, but can he be an anchor of a defense? If Olynyk isn't a solid defensive center, then the Celtics need to look for a defensive minded big to go along Olynk. Because we also know Bass isn't a great defensive player. I hope we can build with both guys, but Sully needs to show us what kind of defensive anchor he can be.
Olynyk has that much in common with every other player in the Orlando summer league. But among the first-year players, Olynyk has a shred more NBA readiness. He was 2-for-4 from downtown, equally good from mid-range, and at one stage even scooped up a loose ball at the foul line and drove left for a tough basket.
His offense is remarkably varied.
“It’s our job as coaches to find the best situation to take advantage of his matchup,” Celtics assistant coach Jay Larranaga, who is running the summer league team, said of the benefits that come with Olynyk’s skill. “If it’s a bigger guy you try to get him on the perimeter, and if it’s a smaller guy you try to post him. He’s a lot of fun to coach, a very nice kid.”
And like a lot of nice kids, Olynyk has to be prodded.
“Yeah, he’s good when he takes it,” Larranaga said of Olynyk’s surprisingly good 3-pointer. “He had some he turned down. I think he needs to know we have the utmost confidence in whatever decision he makes, because he’s such a smart basketball player.”
This is partly the result of playing at Gonzaga, where ball movement is king. Adam Morrison’s tail-gunning ways were the exception, not the norm, in that college program.
Olynyk knows that on this level, he’ll have to channel a little more of his inner Morrison — hopefully to a more successful degree than Morrison himself managed in the NBA.
“It’s tough because I’m kind of an unselfish player sometimes,” he said. “They’re telling me to shoot when I’m open, and not be worried.”
That’s especially true when Olynyk has room beyond the 3-point line.
“It’s been a focus, especially after college getting ready for the draft, because it’s such an asset for a team to have that,” he said. “Stretch the floor, open driving lanes for guards. That makes it tough for defenses. Definitely it’s a shoot-the-ball-when-you’re-open kind of thing. Lot of times big guys want to block shots and be in the paint on defense, so it’s different for big guys to guard you out there. It’s not because they’re giving you an extra cushion because they don’t think you can make it — it’s because it’s not natural.”
Olynk could end up being better than we expected. His offensive game has signs of greatness if he can improve. That starts with being aggressive like his teammate said.
"Kelly’s a great basketball player, as you can see," Sullinger said. "He has the inside game, outside game. I just feel like he has to be more aggressive. Especially in the summer league right now. Every time he touches, he should look to score and, the open shots, he’s got to shoot them. I just think he needs to be more aggressive and be more assertive and let these guys know that he came to play."