Back in August, the Boston Celtics took top draft pick Kelly Olynyk up to Canobie Lake Park, a New Hampshire amusement park, and put him on some rides during a community event. He didn't get a chance to try out Yankee Cannonball or the Canobie Corkscrew, but he has been riding his own roller coaster for the better part of the past six months.

From being selected 13th in June's draft, to starring at the Orlando Summer League, to struggling early in his rookie campaign to elevating, to a starting role as he settled in, to suffering a severe right ankle sprain that sidelined him for 10 games, Olynyk has crammed an awful lot into his first 180 days on the job.

On Monday, a reporter was rehashing Olynyk's ride and started asking Celtics coach Brad Stevens if, given the up-and-down nature of that voyage, he had to remind Olynyk that ...

"He's a rookie?" Stevens interjected, finishing the query on his own. "No question."

Olynyk's lofty draft position (Boston traded up three spots to snag him) and his summer breakthrough (he averaged a team-best 18 points and 7.8 rebounds in Orlando and was named to the all-tournament first team) probably set the bar of expectations a bit too high even for a skilled 7-footer.

Olynyk is averaging 6.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists over 19.8 minutes per game in 20 appearances. In six games since returning from injury earlier this month, Olynyk's averages are just 3.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists over 13 minutes per contest.

Asked about the difficulty coming back from the ankle ailment, Olynyk pondered the question for a moment before noting, "I would just say, when you come back, you're not always back to where you were before. It's hard to keep building, keep adjusting, but it's all part of the process."

It's hard enough for a rookie to find his way in the NBA without added obstacles. Avery Bradley chipped a bone in his ankle during a pre-draft workout before Boston selected him in 2010 and his rookie campaign was limited to 162 minutes over 31 appearances.