With one game in he books for the Boston Celtics, it’s time to begin examining the play of the Cs’ rookie trio: Vitor Faverani, Kelly Olynyk,
and Phil Pressey.
Now, I know one game is just that – one game – and I don’t plan on doing this for every single game . . . but opening night is a big deal, and it’s interesting to see which rookies were ready for prime time, and which were a bundle of nerves. Let’s see what the race for the Celtics’ rookie of the year title looks like after opening night.
Out in Front: Vitor Faverani
Had he not been in foul trouble during the second half, the Brazilian center might have been the Celtics’ second-leading scorer, as he ended the night only 4 points behind Brandon Bass. Faverani also would have helped mitigate some of Boston’s rebounding woes, as well. In addition to his 13 points scored, Faverani was also a force on defense, swatting three shots on the evening. One bog had Vitor listed as 13th on Boston’s depth chart; guess coach Brad Stevens disagreed, and will continue to disagree as long as Faverani keeps playing like this.
Distant Second: Kelly Olynyk
Was Olynyk too jazzed up by the fact that he was starting his NBA career in front of his hometown crowd? Was he intimidated by opening night in general? Or have we simply raised our expectations a bit too high for the long-haired kid from Toronto? Olynyk saw a touch over sixteen minutes of action, and . . . uh . . . failed to impress is how I’ll put it. With almost as many personal fouls (3) as points (4), he wasn’t exactly filling the Raptors with fear. The most telling stat from last night, however? The Celtics were -19 with Olynyk on the floor! Good lord. And lest you think I’m a stathead who skips the game and just checks the boxscore, believe me when I say that his +/- rating just reinforces what anyone who watched last night already knew: Olynyk is nonexistent on defense. He often looked like he had no idea where he was supposed to be on defense . . . or rather, he looked as if he didn’t even know the Celtics were PLAYING defense. Not a good start – good thing there are 81 more games to go.
Extreme dark horse: Phil Pressey
Pressey saw a whopping 3:40 of playing time last night. Yet, he managed to accumulate two personal fouls. Guess he was being super-aggressive in an effort to impress with the little time he had. Clearly, it’s impossible to tell where he ranks in this race about now, but if last night is an indication of how useful Stevens feels Pressey is, then the first year-guard out of Missouri is going to be forced to drop out of the race altogether.
There it is – our early-season race for the Boston Celtics’ rookie of the year. Thanks for the read, and feel free to let me know what you think about the Cs’ rookies below or @theamazingMrS!