Flying high in the sky, cruising in by two defenders. With the breeze from his swift cut to the basket, blowing his long hair like a basketball gladiator. Boston Celtics rookie Kelly Olynyk has arrived, his improvements are noted and filed. Danny Ainge has said that Olynyk is the ultimate complementary player. But is it okay to say that maybe he under sold the rookie?
Olynyk matched a career high with 25 points, and helped the Boston Celtics defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers 111-99 on Saturday night. In Boston's six games in the month of April, Olynyk is averaging 13.5 points on 53.3 percent. Olynyk has shown a great deal of confidence in everything that he's doing on the court.
"I was definitely comfortable tonight. For me, I like to have the ball in my hands and make a play off the dribble every once in a while and put the ball on the floor, or create for some other people. There were some other parts where I didn’t make too many good plays out there so it’s kind of 50/50 I guess."
I think it helped that Olynyk was able to play 39 minutes in Boston's win over Cleveland. I don't know if he'll log those kind of minutes in the Celtics final two games, but he should at least see more than 19 minutes he's averaging for the season. Olynyk has shown month by month that he's better than his first day at camp. He's steady, and he has a strong I.Q for the game. I know he still makes a rookie mistake here and there. But he's a gamer, and he wants to learn and he wants to be a key player.
"You never want to be satisfied. You always have to get better every day, especially in a league that’s this competitive. You just want to keep competing and keep getting better every day. You want to make sure that you are progressing and add a little bit more."
Brad Stevens gave credit to Olynyk for Boston's offensive explosion. The Celtics haven't had issues scoring lately. They've scored over 100 points in 4 of their last 5 games. It's the defense that has stunted Boston. Stevens spoke about the offense getting better as the season nears a close.
"Our offense has gotten better throughout the course of the year. It hasn’t always shown itself in made field goals. I think you have to have a balance. The best teams that I have ever been around have had a balance of action and motion. Our guys are finding guys and it helps when Kelly Olynyk plays that way at the four. He really opens up things for everybody else."
You have to point the finger at confidence in some cases. Especially in a guy like Olynyk. Yes, he still passes up some good shots, but if he didn't learn from some of his past mistakes. Then Saturday's 25 point performance wouldn't have happened.