BOSTON (CBS) — On Monday night against the Philadelphia 76ers, Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk was aggressive off the bench and turned in his best game of the season.
Olynyk scored a season-high 30 points on 12-for-17 shooting (including 3-for-5 from downtown) to go with nine rebounds in 31 minutes of play during Boston’s 105-87 win in Philly, and said after the game it was a brief chat with head coach Brad Stevens that got him going.READ MORE: 51,007 Total Breakthrough COVID Cases Reported In Massachusetts, Which Is 1.08% Of Vaccinated People
“I talked to coach a couple of days ago,” Olynyk said after the win, “and he said, `We need you to be aggressive. You need to stay aggressive. That’s when you’re at your best. That’s when you’re helping us.’ That’s something I’m really focusing on and really been working on dialing in my shot and getting in a groove and it’s feeling good.”
Staying aggressive has been a problem for the second-year seven-footer this season. He recently lost his spot in the Celtics starting rotation to Tyler Zeller, who has been playing extremely well since being inserted into Boston’s starting five. But C’s play-by-play man Mike Gorman says that move to the bench has actually been a big help for Olynyk.
“I think not starting has helped him a lot,” Gorman told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Wednesday. “Coming off the bench and playing against tired first team players or second-tier players has helped his confidence a lot.”
Staying confident has been a big part of Olynyk’s struggles during his brief NBA career, but Gorman says Olynyk is a smart player and is starting to figure out what he has to do in order to play well in the NBA.READ MORE: Mass. Probation Department Under Scrutiny Again After Employees Report Structural Racism, Discrimination
“Another thing Kelly has realized is, in college where he was better than everyone, the game would come to him. He has to go grab the game by the throat to be a good player [in the NBA],” said Gorman. “He played that way the other night; he was playing with passion, he was going for loose balls, fighting for rebounds and defending hard.
“I think Kelly is just getting used to the idea that he has to play, not so much in a different way, but he has to rack up the intensity level,” said Gorman. “When he does he’s a good player. When he doesn’t he disappears a bit.”
Gorman also talked about Jared Sullinger’s current slump, and what the Celtics would be without Rajon Rondo:
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