Golden State Warriors All-Star power forward Draymond Green – arguably the dirtiest player the the NBA right now – called Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk a dirty player.
Let’s just ignore the pot calling the kettle black here. No matter how clean or dirty you think Olynyk is or think it’s just wrong for Green to be calling anyone else a dirty player, there is something that we need to discuss. Green – a two time First Team All-Defense selection – is just a little salty that he can’t guard Olynyk, and that’s where these comments are really coming from.
Olynyk doesn’t always straight up dominate the Warriors, but it’s worth noting that his 12.5 PPG in six career games against Golden State is his highest total against ANY opponent. While it’s easy to say the sample size isn’t that great because the two teams only meet twice a year, it’s worth nothing that Olynyk does have a game where he was held scoreless tossed into this mix which is actually weighing the average down quite a bit. The Canadian big man is also averaging 2.5 APG in his career against the Warriors, which is his second highest total against any opponent.
But for some strange reason, Olynyk does seem to have the sneaky ability to drop in buckets against the Warriors. We all remember that double-overtime thriller at the TD Garden last season when Golden State edged out Boston to advance their record to 24-0 on the season, but what some people forget is that it wasn’t a usual suspect who carried the scoring load that evening.
With four quarters of play and two overtimes, Isaiah Thomas – your All-Star point guard – was only able to score 18 points while playing 46 minutes. Avery Bradley – your second leading scorer – added 19 points. Jae Crowder – who logged a team high 48 minutes that night – pitched in with 15 of his own. Guess who was the hero that night, carrying the Celtics offense by lighting up the Warriors for 28 points, six rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block off the bench?
That’s God damn right! It was Kelly Tyler Olynyk!
Fast forward to this season and Olynyk once again had his way against Green and the Warriors, this time in a winning effort because Thomas decided to actually play like an All-Star. When the two teams met in Oakland back in March, Olynyk scored 17 points on 7-for-9 shooting to go along with five rebounds, five assists, three steals and an amazing +29 rating; the second best mark on the team that night was Jaylen Brown at +13 and the top rating from a starter was Thomas at +4. The former Gonzaga Bulldog standout dropped in 10 points on 4-for-4 shooting to go along with three rebounds and two assists in the second quarter alone and scored the rest of his seven points in the final quarter, including two separate baskets that put the Celtics back in the lead.
Does he dominate the Warriors? No. 12.5 PPG in a career against any opponent is far from domination but it’s just a fun little twist to this whole saga, with Green being an elite defensive force and Olynyk – a very solid NBA role player – just happening to be a better version of himself almost every time he faces off against the Warriors.