Marcus Smart from the Boston Celtics didn’t fool around with his reaction when it came to describing their mystifying 90-89 loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday night. “We got our ass kicked by Kelly Olynyk,” the Celtics guard said.
A strange thing to hear for most Heat fans, as Kelly isn’t the main attraction from the Miami Heat roster. Though, the 26 year old Canadian – originally drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in 2013, before being immediately traded to the Boston Celtics – played his entire NBA career with Boston before being cut loose who then signed a four-year $50 million contract with the Heat.
This was his first game back to his original stomping ground, and Kelly pulled off a career-high 32 points on 12-for-15 shooting and displayed just how much his versatility was missed from the Celtics. Olynyk is one of those unicorn big men that the league craves in the modern NBA: a 7-footer that can shoot from the permitter, put the ball on the floor and attack close outs, while making reads off doubles and rotating around defenses.
The big man has always shown off his guard-like skills throughout his career, but more importantly, his capability of big performances in big games. Just like the 26 points in Boston’s Game 7 victory over the Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Heat desperately needs Olynyk to be more aggressive in games because it helps free up Dion Waiters and opens up driving lanes for Miami’s other guards. He hasn’t been able to release this aggressiveness, from the fact that he just wasn’t moulded to be that kind of player for Boston. But that wasn’t the case on Wednesday.
Catch you Monday.