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C is for confidence game: can Friday's big win serve as a catalyst for Kelly Olynyk?

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Kelly Olynyk has always been a skilled player, but his rookie and sophomore years have been plagued with tentativeness and a lack of aggression. After a summer spent being a focal point for Team Canada, is KO ready to be a force for the Celtics?

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

I root hard for Kelly Olynyk.  I think part of it is that he's a natural playmaker.  He was recruited by Gonzaga as a point guard but by the time he got up to Spokane, he was seven feet tall and a skilled center with a sweet stroke.  He's added a Dirk Nowitzki fall away and flashed a killer cross over, but instinctively, Olynyk wants to make plays for others and that's just a joy to watch.

But then again, there are times when the moment seems to overwhelm him and it could be some random regular season game in Charlotte.  It's like he doubts himself or doesn't trust his game.

Friday was not one of those times.  KO finished a team high +26 with 19 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, a block, and 3 threes.  It was arguably Olynyk's best performance in Celtic green.  He looked for his shot when it was open and to create for his teammates.  Her's a quick clip from late in the third quarter against the Wizards:

olynyk finger roll 1

Olynyk was fire on Friday.  After only making one of his ten threes on season, he hit 3-of-5 against the Wiz and just looked more like himself.  A lot of people are going to define his versatility as a big because of his shooting range, but I think what makes him a tough match up is his playmaking skills.  He was a point guard growing up and instinctively, that's what he wants to do.  He can put it on the floor and play at different speeds.  Late in the third, here's KO doing a little bit of everything (because he can).

olynyk finger roll 2

The set opens with a back door screen from Bradley to the cutting Jerebko.  That's Evan Turner's first option.  Olynyk is already thinking about the second action.

olynyk finger roll 3

It's not a great pick, but he screens the screener and creates space between Bradley and Ramon Sessions.

olynyk finger roll 4

You can see Bradley making a very deliberate motion to set another pick on Sessions.

olynyk finger roll 5

He passes the ball early to set up a dribble hand off instead.  I didn't mean to pick on Nene in this piece but there he is again in a defender's conundrum.  He makes a move to cut off AB and that little space is just enough jump start Olynyk.

olynyk finger roll 5

He spins over his right shoulder and now has a ton of options.  He's got shooters around the arc and a clear path to the rim.  Olynyk bowls over Dudley for the finger roll.

*Jonas Jerebko isn't highlighted in this piece, but he was outstanding in the blowout win, too.  Like Sullinger in the first clip, as soon as Olynyk puts the ball on the floor, he starts boxing out Porter and getting into position for either a rebound or a dump off.  That's just good basketball.

Make sure to check out today's other player profiles on Evan Turner and Jared Sullinger here on CelticsBlog.