BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics will keep rookie Kelly Olynyk in the starting 5 as they open a three-game homestand on Monday against the Orlando Magic.
Olynyk bumped fellow rookie Vitor Faverani from the first unit on Saturday in Miami and played well. Despite shooting 36.9 percent from the floor this season, you can see Olynyk getting more comfortable on the floor and coach Brad Stevens is confident those shots will fall soon.
"It’s not just idea of what [Olynyk has] done, statistically, [but] being able to run a lot through him. He really knows how to play, can really pass," said Stevens. "Obviously, he’s a threat to shoot it more than he’s made shots. That’s why I’m not worried about him making shots. I’ve always subscribed to the law of averages, and so he’s got a bunch of makes coming. But he is a good basketball player and, offensively, it makes us more versatile on the floor."
Olynyk gets the unenviable task of guarding Magic center Nikola Vucevic, who started fast in Friday's matchup and finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds over 36 minutes.
One prevalent theme from Stevens and players in the locker room: While Boston is playing better ball after winning three straight, there's still plenty of room for improvement, particularly on the defensive end.
"I think there’s so much room to improve and I told our guys that today when we got together -- the last thing we can do is think that [Miami win] was anything more than we found a way to win in a game where we shot almost 60 percent from the field," said Stevens. "Because we really didn’t guard well enough to win that game 99 out of 100 times."