Kelly Olynyk achieves All-Rookie Honor

Posted by Clevis Murray on Saturday, May 24, 2014 with No comments




During last summer the 2013 rookie class took a survey of which one of them would have the best career amongst each other, Boston Celtics rookie forward Kelly Olynyk revived most of the votes with Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo. Olynyk could be on pace to live up to the expectations of his peers as the NBA recently announced who the coaches selected for the prestigious All-Rookie First and Second teams.  Olynyk was named to the team and was the first Celtics' player selected to the team since Rajon Rondo in 2007 and the first big-man since Al Jefferson in 2005 (now with Charlotte Hornets). Who would've thought that a 7-foot Canadian with hair that moves from the wind would be the only source of light in a dim season for a team use to winning.

Olynyk had decent season and could say, "I outplayed the No. 1 pick in my draft my rookie year." In 70 games played, Olynyk averaged 8.7 points (6th among rookies) and 5.2 rebounds (2nd among rookies) on 46.6% shooting from the field (4th among rookies) and 35.1% shooting from the 3-point line (6th among rookies), also unlike most big-men, he didn't shoot horrifically from the free-throw line as he shot 81.1% (5th among rookies) . The shooting ability of Olynyk was a key asset for his first year on the job as he is following a norm in the NBA as their is a bevy of big-men congregating to the 3-point line.    

This season, Olynyk didn't have box office numbers despite being compared to Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki but did put up respectable stats throughout the regular season. Olynyk had 22 games of 10+ but a dismal three double-doubles, then again he's more of a shooter/scorer than a prolific rebounder and could turnout to become a Point Forward further down in his career.

In recent years, young players who ended up in Boston didn't have the best career one would hope for playing for one of the original NBA teams but in a rebuilding year it's imperative that the Celtics are successful with their rookie and they've done that with Olynk as he has improved throughout the season.

"[Olynyk] is getting a better feel, Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "getting into a great rhythm and the game is slowing down for him in a lot of ways — especially on the defensive end. He’s reading situations better. He’s in the right position a lot of the time."  

Olynyk ended his rookie year on a high note as he averaged 16.6 points and 7.3 rebounds in the month of April. He had a career-high 12 rebounds against the Cleveland Cavaliers and the ensuing game after, he had a career-high 28 points against the Washington Wizards. 

While Danny Ainge can pound his chest like Kevin Garnett for acquiring Olynyk on draft day from the Dallas Mavericks and making a smart decision with the way he has performed, in which he has recently had a ineptitude of mistakes trade wise, Olynyk is far from being infallible. Olynyk needs improve his defense as he was a liability on that end and needs to bulk up and go on the left or right block and get the Celtics more possessions in the post. 

Olynyk had a better rookie season than most of his peers drafted ahead of him in Anthony Bennett (No. 1), Otto Porter (No. 3), Cody Zeller (No. 4), Alex Len (No. 5), Ben McLemore (No. 7), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (No. 8) and C.J. McCollum (No. 10).

With the draft coming up, it'll be interesting to see if the Celtics stock up their frontcourt as they've been linked to Julius Randle (Kentucky) and Massachusetts native Noah Vonleh (Indiana). Another option is stay pat and go forward with Olynyk and Jared Sullinger.

Olynyk achieved the All-Rookie honors along with Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Gorgui Deing (Minnesota Timberwolves), Cody Zeller (Charlotte Bobcats) and Steven Adams (Oklahoma City Thunder) on the second team. For the first team, Michael Carter-Williams (Philadelphia 76ers), Victor Oladipo (Orlando Magic), Trey Burke (Utah Jazz), Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn Nets) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (New York Knicks) were selected as the top rookies of the 2013-2014 campaign on the first team.