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Your Morning Dump… Where Olynyk is frustrated by his rookie season

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) February 28, 2014 Chris Babb, Kelly Olynyk, Rajon Rondo, The Morning Dump 27 Comments

olynyk vs pistons

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

He sounded a bit frustrated, like a player who isn’t playing, when asked to assess how well his rookie year has gone so far.

“It’s been up and down,” Olynyk said. “There’s been some positives, some learning curves. The experiences have been really good. As long as you are in there every day working hard trying to get better, you know you are on the right path.”

The fear, for coach Brad Stevens, was Olynyk would be lost for an extended period of time with a broken toe. But Stevens said Olynyk checked out when they got back to Boston, and the plan is to keep the 13th pick in a boot for a few days. (Olynyk speculated it could be 5-6 days in the boot before testing out the injury.)

He has had flashes this season, but he’s also missed time with “freak” foot injuries, including a sprained right ankle that cost him 10 games.

“Yeah, it’s unfortunate,” said Olynyk, who’s averaged 7.1 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. “Bad luck I guess.”

Herald: “Olynyk ‘up and down'”

If we really want to classify King Slender’s rookie year, I’d rather call it “down and up,” because his play has gotten a lot better over the past couple of months.  Part of it is probably the return of Rajon Rondo, which has gotten him some better shots, but part of it is also some added confidence that comes along with having been a pro for a while.

Olynyk is starting to figure out what it takes to be an NBA player.  He’s starting to understand little things like how long to hold a pick and when he has enough time to shoot as a defender is closing in on him.  These tiny little things, and others, are little mistakes that a rookie will make when he’s still on college timing.  In the bigger, faster world of the NBA, getting the nuances right means the difference between a successful pick and roll and one that can be defended… or a shot that has a chance to go in as opposed to one that he just doesn’t take because he’s afraid to get blocked.

When you add up the little things, they equal some bigger leaps in his play.  Most impressive is the massive jump in his rebounding in February.  He’s grabbing 6.5 rebounds a game in February as opposed to 3.8 in January and 4.8 per game overall this season.  His instincts are being honed.  You can see it on the floor.

I think Olynyk, despite all of the ridiculous comparisons, will ultimately be a pretty good all around player.  He really can shoot, drive to the basket, and score in the post.  He can’t do it as well as some of the guys to whom he is compared, but he still has that ability.  A year of NBA ball under his belt will help a lot, an offseason with the Celtics’ training staff to get him better prepared for his sophomore season, and being surrounded by some better players will ultimately make Olynyk a very valuable member of this team.

I get his frustrations with how things have gone.  In fact, I love it.  It shows a desire to improve.  But when it comes to Olynyk, I’m very optimistic about his future.

Page 2:   Welcome back Chris Babb

He told the Portland Press Herald after Thursday’s game that the “Celtics have talked about wanting to see me make plays, run to the corner in transition, knock down shots, play defense.”

The paper spotlighted Babb’s season in Maine in Thursday’s editions.

“Chris Babb is a very educated basketball player, one of the most intelligent players I’ve been around,” Maine coach Mike Taylor told the Press Herald. “He knows how to play. He’s like a Peyton Manning out on the court. He understands his job. He understands everyone else’s job. He can cover for his teammates if there is a breakdown or mistake.”

ESPN Boston:  Celtics expected to sign Babb to a 10-day contract

You may remember Chris Babb from such games as that furious preseason comeback against the Knicks where he scored 12 points in 8 minutes, and that other preseason game he played.  He’s been playing in Maine since then, averaging about 11 points and 6 boards.  He’s here to provide some depth as Avery Bradley continues to try to recover from his ankle injury.

Welcome back.

Related links:  CSNNE:  Injury depleted C’s sign guard Babb

And Finally…

I’ve avoided the Rondo bullshit so far, but I have to point you to this piece from Steve Bulpett, the man who broke the story that became an international incident which has soiled the Twitter feeds of way too many for way too long.  I’m not even going to quote the story or go into a big thing.  Just go read the whole thing for the proper does of perspective from the person who first reported the story.

Also worth a read:  This piece on CelticsBlog after some jagoff scout said in an ESPN piece that he’d take Rondo 40th if he had his choice of point guards.

The rest of the links

Globe: Chris Johnson’s hard work paying off  |  Rondo wrong this time  |  ESPN Boston:  Rondo reminds us he is Rondo  |  CSNNE:  Do the Celtics regret naming Rondo captain  |  Ryan: Is Rondo worth the trouble?  |  Ankle injury forcing Bradley to be cautious in return

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  • Brad P

    Olynyk has been stopped by foot injuries whenever he strings some good games together. I see him showing a lot of improvement next year a la Sully, that is if he’s still on the team

  • RedsLoveChild

    Until the Celtics arrange for Kelly to be tutored by his idol {Dirk} in Dallas during the off-season…we will never really know what we have in Olynyk. Right now, we have no idea if Kelly will become a future NBA star, or a career journeyman coming off the bench as a 6th man.

    Also, this summer…the Celts should pay any price to assemble the world`s top witches {the very top practitioners of witchcraft} to finally purge the TD Garden of the evil spirits that clearly inhabit it.

    Otherwise, expect more of the same…the Celts draft healthy young studs in June, only to see them become as fragile as an 80 year guy by Dec.

    • Curt Hays

      You don’t think KG would be a good mentor for him? I think he’d add intangibles to his game but also help him in many valuable ways. Sure working with Dirk would be nice, but KG might teach him defense…no one ever translated the word defense for Dirk.

      • RedsLoveChild

        The issue with KG is….how do you teach full-blown, maniacal intensity? You`re either born with it or not.

        Kelly and Dirk are at least torn from the same cloth…mellow, peace loving 7-footers, with 3-point range who enjoy the comforts of life on the perimeter.

        • Curt Hays

          While I agree with your assessment of all three players, I still think KG has much that Kelly can learn. Dirk’s jumper is the only thing I’d be concerned with Kelly learning.

          KG wouldn’t be morphing KO into KG 2.0, but he could morph him into the NBA KO.

    • bill_nair

      Im just hoping he can be a backup PF off the Ryan Anderson mode (with a much more versatile offensive game). Danny sort of ruined any hopes I had on KO’s career when he said hes going to be a good complimentary player (or however he said it at the rookie presser).

  • Curt Hays

    John, Kelly’s rpg have improved, sure, but what about his per36 numbers? Are his improved numbers a result of more playing time or just better play?

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  • Curt Hays

    Bulpett regarding Rondo: “when he offers up brief and often curt responses”.

    I take exception to this. All of my responses are Curt responses. What’s wrong with that?!

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  • GreenbirdCro

    Is anyone else also experiencing forced redirection to some BS pages?! It’s soooo bloody annoying! About, Kelly… am I the only one who believes this rook will blossom the exact moment he cuts his goldie locks?
    I’m all for “Shave Kelly” campaign! And mark my words! He’ll be a beast once he establishes better aerodynamics! lol

    • GreenbirdCro

      Although this would proly work even better…

      • Finks

        Kelly needs a stylist for sure. Those chin pubes he has going are disastrous! Also the kid needs to hit the gym hard. Him and Sully should start a bet for the off season of who can get more jacked.

        • GreenbirdCro

          +1000000000000000
          Especially for the last two sentences!

      • RedsLoveChild

        I`m holding out hope that Kelly will soon walk into the hair salon and say…”Give me the Larry Fine”.

    • Curt Hays

      Is this reflective of your personal hairstyle?

      • GreenbirdCro

        Almost lol
        it’s more natural then mechanical approach though
        all jokes aside, he needs a switch in the mentality
        boy needs to become a man
        we need a killer not an artist

        • Curt Hays

          I agree with your point, but I don’t think it has to be Kelly that is the killer. If you look (and also if @jerrysondler:disqus looks) at the way Kelly moves around on the court, he’s already moving like a 6-foot PG a lot of the time. He’s a hustler, but that often ends up in injuries for 7-footers. He does need that killer instinct, and I think it’s something you can learn. Dirk learned it as a shooter.

          But I still think that someone else needs to be the killer you’re talking about. I don’t think his hair has any influence on that. Look at Steve Nash or Joakim Noah (I’m not a Noah fan.). Noah is keeping the Bulls afloat all by himself.

          • GreenbirdCro

            Much agree w you. But cutting hair is more a psychological move rather then an esthetic one. The same thing is pretty common in many sports. Hell, I’ll rather have him be our Birdman. He just needs to change and toughen up!

          • Curt Hays

            I understand how it could be a psychological change for some people…the hair seemed to work for Johnny Damon. (sorry if I shouldn’t be mentioning him here)

          • GreenbirdCro

            See… one James Harden. Why not grow a beard?! Why not have a Sasquatch! That’d be awesome! :)

          • GreenbirdCro

            See

          • Finks

            He can’t grow a beard. Like I said above, it’s like he is that awkward kid in sophomore year trying to be a man with his facial hair but it just isn’t happening.

          • GreenbirdCro

            Yikes… but he doesn’t need to have Dirk’s beard, only his shooting touch lol

          • RedsLoveChild

            There were even many women here who were very envious of the hair Johnny Damon had in `04-`05!

  • bill_nair

    Kelly has been playing well since the Spurs game before the break. His confidence is rising, sucks hes going to be set back by yet another injury.

    Babb is like CJ. 3 & D guys who could fit in anywhere in the league. I hope he leaves an impression on some team that needs depth. He deserves a spot on a roster.

    And regarding that scout on Rondo…I dont believe it for once second. I don’t think any “scout” believes there are 11 PG’s off the bench better than Rondo. If you dont think hes top 10, that’s fair. But to say hes not starter material?! How do I apply for this dudes position?

  • Jester00

    CHRIS BABB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! could be the next Bruce Bowen