It’s been said that from Kelly Olynyk’s flowing, golden locks comes an aura that can heal the sick.
Actually, I’m the only one who said that, but what’s another wildly ridiculous overreaction to the “O’Klynyk” he’s been putting on here in Orlando. And while we’re all having fun with the hyperbole while watching Olynyk’s play against a bunch of non-NBA competition, there are things he’s doing here that show that are impressing the NBA folk congregating at the Amway Center.
Olynyk’s shown an array of post moves and an ability to finish with either hand. His footwork is good and his jumper is smooth. He’s even starting to work in some fadeaways and the types of contested shots he’ll face when people aren’t wearing shorts in the stands.
There is little doubt here in Orlando that Olynyk is very skilled.
“It’s crazy,” teammate Colton Iverson said after the game. “For his size, it’s unbelievable.”
Olynyk had a 21 point, 9 rebound, 4 assist game in a 76-74 win over Indiana this morning. Forward Tony Mitchell displayed some impressive athleticism on his way to 15 points, 5 rebounds, and one very emphatic blocked shot. Phil Pressey checked in with what’s become a typical 11 point, 5 assist game for him this week.
But the buzz was about Olynyk, who had heads shaking in amazement once again. Yes, life will be different when it’s Josh Smith in front of him rather than Justin Harper or Solomon Hill. But Olynyk knows that he’s at the beginning of a long process.
“I still have a lot of stuff to work on, obviously,” he said with a chuckle after the game. “The next level is an even bigger jump than this. There’s a lot of NBA guys here right now, but you’re going to play against better and better once you get into the season.”
Still, those are things that can helped by coaching and repetition. There are some things, though, that players are born with. And there is plenty of chatter here that Olynyk brings a good amount of legitimately natural skill, and smarts, to the table with which Brad Stevens can work with and mold.
With the foundation he brings, it’s looking more and more like the Celtics targeted the right guy in the draft, and made the right decision to trade up to make sure they got him.