BOSTON (CBS) – With his new head coach in the stands, Kelly Olynyk wanted to make sure he had a strong debut in a Boston Celtics uniform — even if it was just a summer league game.
The Celtics may have kicked off the Orlando Summer League with a loss, but Olynyk did not disappoint, scoring a game-high 25 points in a 95-88 loss to the Magic on Sunday.
Olynyk scored in all sorts of ways on Sunday, from bucket shots to one’s from long distance. The 7-footer made seven of his first eight shots to start the game, and finished the night 9-for-12 from the floor and 2-for-4 from 3-point range. The rookie also pulled down seven rebounds to finish with an impressive stat line.
“I think Kelly is very, very skilled,” Celtics summer coach Jay Larranaga said following the game, via the team’s website. “He can shoot. He can pass. He can dribble.”
With Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge watching from the stands, the Celtics staff wants to make sure the 13th overall pick in the draft knows he has a green-light to shoot when he’s open, and would like to see him form a score-first mentality.
“It’s tough, because I kind of think I’m an unselfish player at times, sometimes to a fault,” Olynyk said. “They’re telling me to: ‘Shoot the ball when you’re open.’ That kind of stuff; ‘Don’t be worried.’ So I’ve got to really work on that, and hopefully a couple of days here will get me in that mode.”
Olynyk went head-to-head with the second overall pick in last month’s draft, Victor Oladipo out of Indiana. Oladipo chimed in with 18 points, six rebounds and seven assists for the victorious Magic.
Boston is in action again Monday afternoon when they take on the Detroit Pistons.