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Kelly Olynyk grew up watching fellow Canadian Steve Nash. And when Olynyk was young, watching Nash meant watching the Dallas Mavericks.
Nash spent six seasons as the Mavericks’ point guard, running the pick-and-roll with a 7-foot tall German sharpshooter named Dirk Nowitzki.
Eventually, Olynyk grew . . . and then he kept growing, from 6-3 to 6-10 in one year, and to 7 feet soon after. Like Nowitzki, Olynyk was fond of shooting 3-pointers.
Over time, comparisons bubbled up, not so much that the players were equal, but that they looked similar (with the same long hair) and played similar styles.
At TD Garden Sunday, Olynyk, a rookie forward, finally got his first up-close look at Nowitzki when the Celtics took on the Mavericks.