ORLANDO -- Playing their fourth game in four days -- this after three days of practice leading up to the start of the Orlando Summer League -- the Celtics’ entry looked like a fatigued bunch, unable to sustain their intensity while falling to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday afternoon at the Amway Center.
“I thought some guys were definitely tired today,” coach Jay Larranaga admitted. “You can be tired and still compete. I thought we were tired and didn’t compete for the whole time. We had our stretches. But I thought Houston did a better job of giving all-out effort for the entire game.”
Celtics rookie first-round pick Kelly Olynyk couldn’t remember the last time he played four games in four days and admitted the team wasn’t as sharp as recent outings.
“There’s a little bit of fatigue, maybe a little bit of mental fatigue as well,” said Olynyk. “You’ve got to fight through that. We knew that coming in. We’ve just got to work hard to get over that.”
Boston will take Thursday off in hopes of hitting the refresh button before wrapping up summer league with Friday’s championship round.
“We had decided, no matter what, with all the practices they’ve gone through, [Thursday] is a rest day,” Larranaga said.
That's welcome news for a team that dragged through Wednesday's game, especially after losing one of its familiar faces when Darius Johnson-Odom departed for summer league in Vegas.
Read on for more notes from Wednesday's game:
* OLYNYK VS. JONES: Olynyk continued his solid summer showing by holding his own against Houston’s Terrence Jones, a first-round pick in last year's draft. Olynyk finished with 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting and seems like a strong candidate to make the all-tournament team at week's end.
“It was good,” Olynyk said. “[Jones is] a real good player. He’s strong, physical, athletic, he’s got lots of skill as well. And he’s left-handed, which is something that was a different look because you don’t see it a lot. He’s real good. It was a fun battle. I think it’s a good test, a good bar to set. You can’t back down. You’ve got to go in there and work hard and believe in yourself and keep playing.”
Olynyk also grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass. Even if his coach wasn't overly impressed by the feat.
“He’s 7-feet tall. If he’s around the basket, he’s got as good as shot as anybody to get it,” Larranaga said. “He’s not afraid of contact. He’s very smart so he can anticipate where the rebound might go. We’re hopeful that, with him and Jared [Sullinger] through the year, that our offensive rebounding will be one of our strengths.”
Boston, one of the worst offensive rebounding teams in the league in recent seasons, put a heavy emphasis on not chasing offensive caroms during Doc Rivers’ tenure.
* MELO’S MINUTES: Second-year center Fab Melo played only 10 minutes on Wednesday and finished with one point and zero rebounds. Even when Boston went big in the second half, Melo stayed on the bench. Asked about the downturn in playing time, Larranaga said, “We have 12 guys on the team, we’re trying to get everyone a look. So it’s just kind of how the rotation goes in summer league.”
* MORE PRAISE FOR PRESSEY: Phil Pressey showcased his distributor skills again on Wednesday, handing out 10 assists. He struggled with his shot and had four turnovers, but his defensive efforts caught Larranaga’s eye. “Phil is an aggressive defender,” he said. “I think when we got down, he took a few more risks and really disrupted their offense and allowed us to get back into the game in the first half and a little bit more of the same in the second half. That’s what his role is going to be with us during the regular season (if) he’s on the team. I think that’s good for him to show that he can be that defensive guy off the bench.”