Kent Tukeli |  Tue 22/08/2017 - 08:14 EDT

Olynyk Will Thrive With Miami Heat

Olynyk Will Thrive With Miami Heat
Kelly Olynyk was introduced to Hassan Whiteside with a blindsiding flying elbow to the neck. Whiteside apologized to Kelly after receiving a flagrant two and an ejection. In retrospect, the Miami Heat should be thankful that Whiteside offered apologies in 2015. These two big men will form one of the most intriguing frontcourts during the 2017-18 NBA season, combining Hassan’s interior dominance with Kelly’s ability to hit shots from behind the arc.

Boston Celtics Had No Space For Game Seven Hero

Kelly Olynyk played his best game as a Celtic when they needed it most, draining 26 points against the Washington Wizards to lift Boston to a seven-game series win over the Washington Wizards. He scored 14 in the fourth quarter, sinking a dagger into Washington’s playoff run. Why would the Celtics let a playoff hero like Olynyk walk for nothing in return?

Signing Gordon Hayward to a max contract forced the Celtics to shed salary. Avery Bradley was another cap casualty triggered by the big signing. Bradley was traded to the Detroit Pistons for Marcus Morris, saving the Celtics three million against the cap. Morris has another year on his contract, while Bradley’s a free agent after this season, further improving Boston’s bottom line.

There was no way the Celtics could afford to pay Kelly Olynyk anything close to market value without going over the apron, which would trigger penalties and restrictions on player transactions. As a result, Pat Riley swopped in and scooped Kelly as a free agent for a very reasonable 4-year, $50 million deal. Considering the NBA’s shift beyond the arc, Kelly’s ability to shoot the three as a big man could make the Miami Heat front office look like geniuses.

Another Miami Heat Reclamation Project

The Miami Heat were the most surprising team in the NBA last season, considered dead in the water after an 11-30 start to the regular season. Somehow, the Heat transformed mid-season, ripping off a 13-win streak which included a Dion Waiters buzzer beater against the Golden State Warriors. Miami turned into one of the hottest teams in the second half of the season, nearly sneaking into the playoffs with a 30-11 run to end their campaign.

Dion Waiters morphed into a steel-nerved scorer, James Johnson fulfilled his promise as an athletic forward who hits threes, and Hassan Whiteside continued his development as a dominant player in the paint. Goran Dragic held the offense together by reclaiming the bully point guard style that served him well before he was traded away from the Phoenix Suns. These key contributors arrived from teams that didn’t want them, but they gelled in time to set a new NBA record: best second half winning percentage for a non-playoff team.

Coach Erik Spoelstra deserves much of the credit for molding the undervalued talent Miami scouts from around the NBA. The Heat signed Kelly Olynyk with the goal of making him into a player who’s far more valuable than expected. 

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October 2017 (12)
Sun 1 Atlanta Hawks 18:00 Miami Heat
Thu 5 Miami Heat 19:30 Brooklyn Nets
Sat 7 Miami Heat 19:00 Orlando Magic
Mon 9 Hornets 19:30 Miami Heat
Wed 11 Wizards 19:30 Miami Heat
Fri 13 Miami Heat 20:30 Sixers
Wed 18 Miami Heat 19:00 Orlando Magic -175 +147 Odds
Sat 21 Indiana Pacers 20:00 Miami Heat
Mon 23 Atlanta Hawks 19:30 Miami Heat
Wed 25 Spurs 20:00 Miami Heat
Sat 28 Boston Celtics 21:00 Miami Heat
Mon 30 Wolves 19:30 Miami Heat
November 2017 (15)
Wed 1 Chicago Bulls 19:30 Miami Heat
Fri 3 Miami Heat 21:00 Denver Nuggets
Sun 5 Miami Heat 15:30 L.A. Clippers
Mon 6 Miami Heat 22:30 Warriors
Wed 8 Miami Heat 21:00 Phoenix Suns
Fri 10 Miami Heat 21:00 Utah Jazz
Sun 12 Miami Heat 16:00 Detroit Pistons
Wed 15 Wizards 19:30 Miami Heat
Fri 17 Miami Heat 19:00 Wizards
Sun 19 Indiana Pacers 15:30 Miami Heat
Wed 22 Boston Celtics 19:30 Miami Heat
Fri 24 Miami Heat 20:00 Wolves
Sun 26 Miami Heat 15:30 Chicago Bulls
Tue 28 Miami Heat 19:00 Cavaliers
Wed 29 Miami Heat 19:30 New York Knicks
December 2017 (15)
Fri 1 Hornets 20:00 Miami Heat
Sun 3 Warriors 19:00 Miami Heat
Wed 6 Miami Heat 20:30 Spurs
Sat 9 Miami Heat 18:00 Brooklyn Nets
Mon 11 Miami Heat 20:00 Grizzlies
Wed 13 Blazers 19:30 Miami Heat
Fri 15 Miami Heat 19:00 Hornets
Sat 16 L.A. Clippers 20:00 Miami Heat
Mon 18 Miami Heat 19:30 Atlanta Hawks
Wed 20 Miami Heat 19:30 Boston Celtics
Fri 22 Dallas Mavericks 20:00 Miami Heat
Sat 23 Pelicans 20:00 Miami Heat
Tue 26 Orlando Magic 19:30 Miami Heat
Fri 29 Brooklyn Nets 20:00 Miami Heat
Sat 30 Miami Heat 19:00 Orlando Magic
January 2018 (15)
Wed 3 Detroit Pistons 19:30 Miami Heat
Fri 5 New York Knicks 19:00 Miami Heat
Sun 7 Utah Jazz 15:30 Miami Heat
Tue 9 Miami Heat 19:30 Toronto Raptors
Wed 10 Miami Heat 19:00 Indiana Pacers
Sun 14 Milwaukee Bucks 13:00 Miami Heat
Mon 15 Miami Heat 15:30 Chicago Bulls
Wed 17 Miami Heat 20:00 Milwaukee Bucks
Fri 19 Miami Heat 19:30 Brooklyn Nets
Sat 20 Miami Heat 19:00 Hornets
Mon 22 Miami Heat 20:00 Houston Rockets
Thu 25 Sacramento Kings 19:30 Miami Heat
Sat 27 Hornets 19:30 Miami Heat
Mon 29 Miami Heat 20:30 Dallas Mavericks
Wed 31 Miami Heat 19:30 Cavaliers
February 2018 (10)
Fri 2 Miami Heat 20:00 Sixers
Sat 3 Miami Heat 19:00 Detroit Pistons
Mon 5 Orlando Magic 19:30 Miami Heat
Wed 7 Houston Rockets 19:30 Miami Heat
Fri 9 Milwaukee Bucks 20:00 Miami Heat
Tue 13 Miami Heat 19:00 Toronto Raptors
Wed 14 Miami Heat 19:00 Sixers
Fri 23 Miami Heat 20:00 Pelicans
Sat 24 Grizzlies 19:30 Miami Heat
Tue 27 Sixers 19:30 Miami Heat
March 2018 (16)
Thu 1 L.A. Lakers 19:30 Miami Heat
Sat 3 Detroit Pistons 19:30 Miami Heat
Mon 5 Phoenix Suns 19:30 Miami Heat
Tue 6 Miami Heat 19:00 Wizards
Thu 8 Sixers 19:30 Miami Heat
Sat 10 Wizards 19:30 Miami Heat
Mon 12 Miami Heat 22:30 Blazers
Wed 14 Miami Heat 22:00 Sacramento Kings
Fri 16 Miami Heat 22:30 L.A. Lakers
Mon 19 Denver Nuggets 19:30 Miami Heat
Wed 21 New York Knicks 19:30 Miami Heat
Fri 23 Miami Heat 20:00 Thunder
Sun 25 Miami Heat 17:00 Indiana Pacers
Tue 27 Cavaliers 20:00 Miami Heat
Thu 29 Chicago Bulls 19:30 Miami Heat
Sat 31 Brooklyn Nets 20:00 Miami Heat
April 2018 (5)
Tue 3 Atlanta Hawks 19:30 Miami Heat
Wed 4 Miami Heat 19:30 Atlanta Hawks
Fri 6 Miami Heat 19:30 New York Knicks
Mon 9 Thunder 19:30 Miami Heat
Wed 11 Toronto Raptors 20:00 Miami Heat

Kelly Olynyk Could Be Miami’s Jumpshot Jesus

When reports announced that Chris Bosh was dealing with blood clots again, the Heat lost their MVP in the post-LeBron era. Prior to joining Miami as part of the big three, Bosh was the alpha dog on the Raptors, leading the team to its first playoff appearance since the Vince Carter era.

With Bosh’s career in jeopardy, the Heat were looking for someone to contribute a similar set of skills. Kelly Olynyk will never be mistaken for Chris Bosh, but he’s exactly the type of player that Miami needs. Miami finished 12th in three-point attempts and percentage in 2016-17, ranking 21st in points scored. The Heat featured decent, three-point shooting from Dragic and Waiters, but the rest of the squad was ordinary. Olynyk will be the third shooting threat for the Heat.

As a seven-footer, he’ll drag opposing centers and power forwards away from the hoop, giving Whiteside and Dragic space to attack the paint. In fact, Kelly may be uniquely suited to Miami’s offense. Coach Spoelstra’s known for running creative corner three sets, and Olynyk hits 51% of his three-point shots from that spot on the floor.

The main knock against Olynyk tends to be defense, but he was playing with a Celtics team that featured one of the worst defenders in the association. With the Heat, Kelly can rely on Whiteside, Dragic and Johnson for defensive help, gifting him extra energy for offensive production.

If he stays healthy, Kelly Olynyk will enjoy the best numbers of his career. He should fit into Erik Spoelstra’s offensive schemes as a shooter, while Whiteside focuses on rim protection and post scoring. The fourth year of Kelly’s contract will be a player option. If he turns into Miami’s “Jumpshot Jesus”, Olynyk will be looking at a big raise in four years.

Category : News

Tag : boston celtics , nba

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