It’s only one summer game, but Kelly Olynyk showed why the Celtics moved up to draft hi,
ORLANDO- Kelly Olynyk scored a game-high 25 points, but the Boston Celtics lost its opening game of the Orlando Pro Summer League, falling 95-88 to the Orlando Magic Sunday at the Amway Center. The Celtics also lost starting point guard Nolan Smith, who left the game early with a calf injury and did not return. Via Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald:
Slight tear below calf for Nolan Smith. (Not the Achilles.) Getting an MRI. Looks like he’s done for the week.
— Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) July 7, 2013
Without Smith, the only guard on the roster with any real NBA experience, the Celtics struggled initiating their offense, committing 23 turnovers. Phil Pressey (5 TO’s), Darius Johnson-Odom ( 4 TO’s), and Jayson Granger (3 TO’s) each played some minutes at point, with varying degrees of success.
Victor Oladipo, the No.2 overall pick, started at point guard for Orlando, scoring 14 first-half points to lead the Magic. Early in the first quarter, Oladipo drilled two three-pointers out of the pick-and-roll and shouted at the Celtics defenders, “Keep going under!”
Olynyk, however, was the star of the game. His vast skill set was visible right from the start, when he scored his first basket on a beautiful up-and-under scoop shot. Olynyk not only showed his shooting range (9-12 FGA, 2-4 3-PT), he also showed why he is going to be a difficult cover in the NBA.
As a pick-and-pop power forward, Olynyk’s ability to attack a closeout off the dribble and either finish at the rim or find an open teammate is rare. There a lot of big guys in the NBA who can shoot from distance; there are not a lot of 7-footers who can create with the bounce and make plays in the paint.
Olynyk had his share of trouble defensively, notching 6 fouls, but that was to be expected. He has quick feet, though, which should help him become a solid pick-and-roll defender in time and he has good defensive instincts.
Most impressive, perhaps, for Olynyk (and Colton Iverson, to a lesser extent) was his speed end-to-end. Olynyk is almost as tall as Fab Melo, but he is exponentially faster getting up-and-down the court. Comparing him to Melo, who struggles with his conditioning, may not be fair to either guy, but he was beating Magic big men Kyle O’Quinn and Andrew Nicholson down the floor on many occasions as well.
Iverson impressed with his toughness and hard work, while reigning D-League Rookie of the Year Tony Mitchell showed his scorer’s mentality with 16 points on 10 shots.
Much more to come later today here at Celticstown, as Olynyk, Pressey, Jared Sullinger, and Brad Stevens all spoke to the media following the game. Be sure to follow @celticstown and @TP_King for live updates, pitctures, etc. from here in Orlando.