Kelly Olynyk, welcome to the NBA!
Oh, I know that you have technically been a member of the NBA all season long. You’ve endured your share of rookie ups-and-downs as a member of the woeful Boston Celtics, and you still have much work to do this offseason, especially on the defensive end.
Still, there’s being a player in the NBA, and then there’s BEING A PLAYER IN THE NBA, right? And you, sir, have proven that you are now a full-fledged baller who has a solid, dare I say All-Star quality, career of you. After tying your career-high scoring total of 25 this Saturday in a blowout win against the Cleveland Cavaliers, you went out and led everyone in scoring last night with a new career-high of 28 points against the Philadelphia 76ers. Your reaction to this new accomplishment was perfectly Canadien:
There are a couple guys sidelined with injuries, so other guys have to step in and pick up the load. I just figured this would be a good time to do it.
Sure: it was no big deal – just stepping up to help your team out. Somewhere, Red Auerbach is smiling at the thought of watching you wear the green and white for the foreseeable future.
I know it’s impossible to see the losses pile up for these Boston Celtics, but I can’t help but feel like this season is going to go down as one of those bonding-experiences that strengthen these Celtics into one focused, motivated, angry bunch next season. A team with a cause is a dangerous team in the NBA, and it’s pretty clear that these Celtics want to win, even when they know they are not supposed. Missing Jerryd Bayless, Jared Sullinger, and Kris Humphries last night, it wasn’t surprising that Boston found itself down by 19 in the second quarter . . . yet when the final buzzer sounded, the Celtics were literally an inch from tying the game with 0.9 seconds left on the clock, courtesy of a Chris Johnson three-pointer that was waved off as he was ruled to have stepped out of bounds. Jeff Green dropped 27, Avery Bradley was good for 23, and Rajon Rondo was a field goal shy of a triple-double (8 pts, 11 rebounds, 14 assists).
It’s great to see that a team that wasn’t supposed to win is teaching a player like Olynyk to want to do whatever it takes to win. You know he, along with the rest of the team, is going to clean out his locker in a few days and spend the offseason motivated like a mother-trucker to come back better next year, so let that be the thought that carries you through the offseason, my suffering Boston Celtics fans!