Kelly Olynyk 2017-18 Season Rundown
Photo Credit: Brian Babineau
If you’ve watched enough HEAT games over the years, you know Eric Reid has a handful of go-to catchphrases and nicknames he likes to use.
Perhaps nobody garnered as many in their first season than Kelly Olynyk.
Need help remembering them?
Here's a quick list:
- The Kelly O Show
- Kelly Oh-My-lynyk
- And of course, the Kelly Keeper
Thanks to Olynyk's craftiness and high basketball IQ which led to those phrases, he picked things up in a big way and quickly became one of Miami’s best offensive players after a slow start to the year. In fact, the HEAT scored 109.4 points per 100 possessions with KO on the floor, which was the best on the team by a wide margin.
What’s more, Olynyk shot 17-of-34 (50 percent) in clutch time (five-point game with less than five minutes to play) during the regular season.
So yeah, he definitely made an impact.
Let’s look back at some games where he did just that.
Dec. 20 vs. Boston: Balling Out In A Familiar Place
No matter what anyone says, you know a player always wants to perform well against his former team.
Olynyk took that to a whole other level in this one, as he scored a career-high 32 points and took over in the fourth quarter.
In the period, the 7-footer caught fire from deep and poured in 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting. That said, he also had a vicious jam over Jaylen Brown and Kyrie Irving that really got his teammates fired up.
When it was all said and done, Olynyk amassed seven boards, two assists, one steal and one block to go along with his 32 points on 12-of-15 shooting.
Jan. 3 vs. Detroit: Doing It All
Simply put, the Pistons had no answer for KO in this matchup.
Whether he was knocking down threes, fooling his defender with shot fakes or setting up his teammates, Olynyk had a great deal of success.
After a red-hot start in the first quarter, the 27-year-old helped put the game on ice with six points on 3-of-3 shooting in the fourth.
In all, Olynyk had a team-high 25 points on 11-of-15 shooting, a season-high 13 rebounds and three assists.
March 19 vs. Denver: Recording A Career High
While this game was all about James Johnson’s career night, don’t let KO’s performance fly under the radar too much. (It’s crazy to think that’s even possible since Olynyk went nuts in this game.)
Thanks to nifty attacks off the dribble and catch-and-shoot jumpers, the Canadian had Mason Plumlee and Nikola Jokić on their heels all evening. That wasn’t all though, as Olynyk also did a great job on help-side defense and tallied a career-high four blocks.
At the end of the day, Olynyk had 30 points on 11-of-16 shooting, eight rebounds, six assists and a team-high plus-18 rating to go along with his aforementioned rejections.
Talk about stuffing the stat sheet.
March 21 vs. New York: Keeping It Moving
Although Olynyk had some great passing displays throughout the year, this contest was perhaps his best. In addition to getting guys good looks off his usual dribble handoffs (which Miami ran a lot of with him in the fray), KO also shared the wealth off the dribble like in his prior game against the Nuggets.
As a result, the skilled big dished out a career-high 10 assists with zero turnovers and also scored 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting, grabbed five boards and notched a season and team-high plus-32 rating.
March 27 vs. Cleveland: Playing It Smart
From start to finish, Olynyk wisely took advantage inside against a susceptible Cavaliers defense and picked them apart quite often.
While he helped the HEAT build a double-digit lead early on with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting in the second quarter, he also led the team with nine points on a perfect 3-of-3 shooting in the fourth.
In other words, he had his fingerprints all over this one.
When you add it all up, Olynyk accumulated a team-high 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting, five rebounds, three assists, a team-high three steals and a plus-19 rating.