WALTHAM, Mass. — Kelly Olynyk was barred from playing in the Boston Celtics’ season opener Wednesday night, so he had no other choice but to observe as a spectator.
He did just that, but from a rather unique vantage point.
The Celtics forward, who was suspended for one game thanks to his incident with Kevin Love in last season’s playoffs, revealed he watched Boston’s 112-95 win over the Philadelphia 76ers with president of basketball operations Danny Ainge at the team’s practice facility.
“It was good,” Olynyk said of watching the game with Ainge. “I mean, he knows the game of basketball. He’s an intellectual guy, especially toward the game of basketball, so you can learn a lot from him.”
If Olynyk was frustrated about missing the team’s opener for an incident that happened six months ago, though, he didn’t admit as much.
“I mean, we won, so it wasn’t that tough to watch,” Olynyk said. “(But) you obviously always want to be out there helping your teammates.”
Let’s hit a few other notes from Thursday’s practice:
— Jared Sullinger saw an increase in playing time Wednesday with Olynyk out and had a pretty solid game, posting 12 points and seven rebounds in 21 minutes of action.
Yet head coach Brad Stevens said Thursday that Olynyk will be back on the floor Friday night when the Celtics take on the Toronto Raptors.
“He’ll play,” Stevens said. “I don’t know how it changes everything else. We’ll see.”
Sullinger is fighting for a spot in the rotation, so it will be interesting to see if he’s pushed to the back burner in game two or continues to get significant minutes.
— Newly-acquired forward Amir Johnson, who spent his last six seasons in Toronto, said Thursday his experience playing with his former team will be valuable from a scouting standpoint.
Stevens didn’t exactly echo those sentiments, however.
“I mean, we’ve played them six times a (season) the last two (seasons), so I don’t talk to him a ton about it,” Stevens said. “We talked a little bit about how he liked to play, some things that he liked to do that they used to do. … Some of it is stuff that he’s familiar with, and some of it is not.”
— Rookie guard R.J. Hunter was present at Thursday’s practice after missing Wednesday’s opener with an illness, which is a good sign he’ll be ready to go Friday.
Hunter and James Young — who also was inactive Wednesday — both stayed late after practice to get in some extra shooting work.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images