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    Celtics rookie Kelly Olynyk continues to impress

    Kelly Olynyk already has impressed the Celtics with his abilities.
    John Raoux/Associated Press
    Kelly Olynyk already has impressed the Celtics with his abilities.

    ORLANDO — Kelly Olynyk’s performances here are threatening the well-accepted notion that one must look at anything achieved during NBA summer league with a skeptical eye.

    After three games, the Celtics rookie 7-footer out of Gonzaga is averaging 19.6 points on 58 percent shooting from the floor (23 of 40).

    He also has knocked down 3 of 7 from 3-point range.


    “Oh, man. Big boy can stroke it,” said Celtics shooting guard Courtney Lee, who sat courtside during the Celtics’ 76-74 win over Indiana Tuesday at the Amway Center.

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    “I see him hit that 3-pointer in transition the other day, I was impressed,” Lee said. “He has good touch. Good footwork; can stretch the floor.

    “When he sets those picks, he’s definitely going to be an option on the pick-and-pop because he can shoot. He’s definitely going to help us.”

    Though he has only played a few of these games, Olynyk said they’ve already been helpful.

    “Coming in, I didn’t really know how it would translate and how they would want me to play,” he said. “Now I can see myself in a system. It’s really helping. I still have a lot of stuff to work on, obviously. It at least gives me some direction.”


    Jay Larranaga, the Celtics assistant who is coaching the summer league team, said Olynyk has been more aggressive through the most recent games after being too pass-happy in the early ones.

    “But we’re going to need him to score during the season, too,” Larranaga added. “He can’t just look to fit in and not ruffle any feathers. He’s the best player on this summer league team, so he should take the most shots and when the season starts, we expect him to play and contribute. He’s open, he should shoot.”

    Regardless, Olynyk already has impressed the Celtics with his abilities.

    “In my experience, I haven’t seen too many 7-footers than can dribble, pass, and shoot like he can,” said Larranaga.

    Lee likes move

    Lee is from the same town where Brad Stevens led a mid-major school to the national spotlight.


    “If you’re from Indianapolis and you don’t know Brad, then something’s wrong with you,” Lee said of the new Celtics coach. “I’ve known him for a while. We used to always play at Hinkle Fieldhouse in high school, or state championships, we’d go up there for regionals. He’s seen a lot of me and I’ve seen a lot of him. We built a friendship through that.”

    Naturally, Lee is plenty excited to be playing for Stevens.

    “You see all the success he had at Butler and hopefully it can translate to the NBA level,” he said, “and I’m ready to get back to work.”

    The Celtics are entering a period of rebuilding, which Lee, who averaged 7.8 points last season, has experienced before, specifically with the 2009-10 Nets, who finished 12-70.

    “And the talent we have on this team is a lot better,” he said. “We still have an All-Star in [Rajon] Rondo, we have a forming All-Star in Jeff Green. And then you have key role players in myself, Jared [Sullinger], and Avery [Bradley].

    “So, I think it’s all going to be a matter of everybody stepping up and contributing and playing at a high level to support the two that I mentioned. I think we’ll be fine.”

    Scalabrine is golden

    Warriors coach Mark Jackson tweeted Monday night that former Celtics forward Brian Scalabrine will be an assistant coach on his staff . . . The Pistons and Italian League MVP Luigi Datome agreed to a two-year deal, according to multiple reports. The Celtics were one of a handful of teams interested in signing the 6-foot-9-inch, 220-pound sharpshooting forward, who is considered to be the top free agent in Europe this season.

    Baxter Holmes can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @BaxterHolmes