It’s Game 7 in the midst of the Eastern Conference. All NBA fans’ eyes are on the game, wondering which team will finally break the tie. For Boston Celtics player Kelly Olynyk, this was his time to shine.
It’s thanks to Olynyk that the Celtics will be heading to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2012. If you’re scratching your head because you aren’t familiar with his name, you aren’t alone. He’s currently being touted as the “unlikely hero” of the basketball game because barely anybody knew who the heck he was before this.
So here’s the deal: Kelly Olynyk is a 7-foot-tall backup center for the Celtics. The Celtics were taking on the Washington Wizards in the semifinals earlier this week, and so far they were tied 3-3 in the best-of-seven series.
Previously, Olynyk didn’t have that great of a reputation. He barely scored any points. Celtics president of operations Danny Ainge called him a “7-foot hippy.” His man-bun might be more famous than he is.
The Big Turnaround
However, in Game 7 against the Wizards, all that went out the window. He became the first Celtics reserve to score more than 25 points in a playoff game since 2009. In fact, he did one better with 26 points. Of those points, 12 of them came within a three-and-a-half-minute span in the fourth quarter, which allowed the Celtics to pull off a 115-105 win over the Wizards.
“It was unbelievable,” Kelly Olynyk said of his accomplishment. “Especially to do it in front of our fans, the city of Boston. It was unbelievable to be in there, feel that energy, and feel that enthusiasm. The passion that 20,000 people have and just thrive off that. It was pretty special to be a part of. Hopefully we can relive that.”
The Celtics will be taking on the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight. We’re keeping our eyes peeled to see if Kelly Olynyk can manage to pull off another success.