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Stevens finds unlikely trio in first game-A. Sherrod Blakely
Gerald Wallace, Jared Sullinger and rookie Kelly Olynyk are about as different a trio as you’ll find on this roster.
Wallace is a high-energy, athletic wing player.
Sullinger is a bulky, undersized power forward with a soft touch around the basket.
And Olynyk is a 7-foot rookie with a point guard’s mentality, evident by him dishing out a team-high five assists on Monday.
Brad Stevens had been telling the media for the last few days that the trio of Sully, Kelly & Wallace had impressed him in practice. Well tonight those three had a chance to show what they could do together in game action, and they did not disappoint. Olynyk had a team-best five assists to go with four points and two boards. He ran the floor extremely well and his passing was on point. Wallace put in a team-high 16 points in 26 minutes on 6 of 10 shooting, and Sullinger had the most complete game of the three-Jared scored 14 points, many of them tough hoops in the paint, grabbed 6 rebounds and added 4 assists.
Heading into Boston’s first preseason game last night, Brad Stevens’ main goal was to try out different lineups. He started the night off with Lee & Bradley at the guard positions, and Humphries, Bass & Green in the front court. This lineup struggled on the offensive end, taking & missing jumper after jumper and not getting the C’s their first field goal until the 8:12 mark of the 1st. Olynyk and Wallace checked-in with 5:41 left in the quarter, and Sullinger came in shortly thereafter. The trio combined for 14 of the C’s 27 first quarter points. At the end of the quarter, Boston had pulled to within 1, down 28-27. The C’s ended up losing the game, 97-89, but Stevens was quite satisfied with the minutes the three played together.
Olynyk and Wallace were plus-3 and plus-2, respectively, when they were on the floor while the C’s were plus-9, the best on the team, when Sullinger was in the game.
Wallace believes he plays well with anyone, but added that there has been a special connection between him, Sullinger and Olynyk.
“Those are guys that for me personally, stretch the floor,” Wallace said. “They’re able to knock down jumpshots and stretch the floor and open up the lane for me. I’m able to penetrate and get in the middle and kick out to those guys. We compliment each other well on the court.”
One of the qualities that seems to be a common bond between these three, early on at least, is selflessness. Each player has no problem sharing the ball, and wants to reward the other for making a good play. Some of the very basic fundamentals of teamwork, and the kind of characteristics you hope others will see & emulate. Olynyk is all about getting better, and hopes to help others along the way if possible.
“Guys are making hard cuts, setting good screens, you want to reward them for that kind of stuff,” said Olynyk who also had four points and a pair of rebounds. “Anytime you get other people involved and make people around you better, that’s a great thing to do in the game of basketball.”
Said Sullinger: “We’re very different. That’s what makes it fun.”
Having a selfless approach to the game clearly binds all three, which may help explain why the trio was so effective in their first preseason game.
Will be very interesting to see how Stevens uses these three against other teams in the preseason, and which guards he’ll mix & match with them out on the floor.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston:Notebook- Banner Moment For Stevens|Sullinger’s Back In Action|Herald:Perfect Way To Start|Stevens Era Opens With Exhibition Loss|Adams Gets To Know True Rondo|CSNNE:Celtics Defense Has Plenty To Improve On|MassLive:Humphries, Green Hit Treadmill After Celtics Preseason Loss To Raptors|WEEI:Rudy Gay:Rondo Will Be Stronger Than Ever