Re: Orlando Summer League Starts Today!
posted at 7/7/2013 8:41 PM EDT
Kelly Olynyk shines in Celtics' NBA summer league debut
Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports 8:01 p.m. EDT July 7, 2013
(Photo: Fernando Medina, NBAE/Getty Images)
- Boston Celtics rookie Kelly Olynyk had 25 points on 9-for-12 shooting in summer league debut
- Olynyk showed impressive shooting range despite not taking many three-pointers in college at Gonzaga
- Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo also was impressive, while fellow rookie Trey Burkey struggled
ORLANDO — Kelly Olynyk revealed a glimpse of why the Boston Celtics made him an integral piece of their rebuilding process.
Sure, it was a summer league game, but the jump from college to NBA begins somewhere, and for Olynyk, it began Sunday in Boston's 95-88 loss to the Orlando Magic.
The result wasn't important, nor were Olynyk's statistics, which, by the way, were impressive (25 points on 9-for-12 shooting). The potential matters, and the 7-footer showed why the Celtics think so highly of him with a display of inside and outside moves, including a fine touch from the three-point range.
"It's our job as coaches to find the different situations that best take advantage of his matchup," Celtics summer league coach Jay Larranaga said. "If he's got a bigger guy, try and get him on the perimeter. If he's got a smaller guy, he can post up. He's a lot of fun to coach."
Though he had range at Gonzaga, Olynyk was not a prolific deep shooter and took 27 three-pointers last season. He made two of four on Sunday, showing unexpected range. He began working on his NBA three-point shot after his college season.
"It's been a real focus because it's such an asset to a team to have that big who can stretch the floor and it really opens up driving lanes for guards and makes it tough on defenses," Olynyk said, already understanding the modern pro game. "It's something I'm trying to focus on. By no means am I where I need to be. I still have to improve. I'm just going to keep working on that."
He is a skilled big man capable of finding open shooters with his passing, and Larranaga complimented his court vision — a guard's mind in a big-man's body. "I still think it can get better. But that's one of the abilities I can bring to a team," Olynyk said.
Larranaga said the next step for summer league is to get Olynyk to shoot more.
"He had some shots that he turned down," he said of the No. 13 overall pick in June's draft. "He's such an unselfish player that we have to keep encouraging him to shoot when he's open.
"That's just Kelly's personality. He's a very unselfish person. ... He needs to know we have the utmost confidence in him whatever decision he makes.
Olynyk said he hasn't spent much time with new Celtics coach Brad Stevens, who is in Orlando watching, but Olynyk is familiar with Butler's style. He expects Stevens to bring a similar style to the Celtics.
"They are so disciplined. Execution is sound," Olynyk said of Butler, where Stevens coached. "They really execute. They really take game plans and put them into play and a lot of that has to do with him. … He's got a basketball mind that has really developed into great coaching."
Strong debut: Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo, the No. 2 pick in the draft, had 18 points on 5-for-13 shooting, seven assists, six rebounds and five steals. He also had five turnovers. Teammate Romero Osby, the 51st pick in the draft, also had 18 points.
Tough debut: Utah guard Trey Burke, who was taken No. 9, shot 1-for-12 and had eight points. He finished with seven rebounds and five assists.
Uneven debut: Philadelphia 76ers guard Michael Carter-Williams, selected 11th, had 26 points (8-for-23 shooting), eight assists and seven rebounds. He also had nine turnovers.