The Miami Heat may have more to offer from their talent pool going forward than only Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow, and Bam Adebayo.
Origins of the “Kelly Keeper”
A little fact about Kelly Olynyk was his stint as a quarterback for his high school football team.
“It’s even more impressive when you consider that Olynyk broke his left shoulder while quarterbacking the Titans in a playoff game in his Grade 11 year, a setback that caused him to miss his entire Grade 11 hoops season.”
Going with the football analogy, here is Mark Sanchez with a bootleg or fake-off, a.k.a.“Kelly Keeper.”
Seems like Olynyk has brought over what he perfected as a high school quarterback to the NBA court.
Other than his abbreviated football career, Olynyk found early success on the basketball court leading his high school team to a 36-2 record, Gonzaga to a 32-3 mark, #1 ranking in the AP poll, and as a consensus All-America pick for 2012-13.
The NBA story hasn’t been quite as fruitful up to now, but under Erik Spoelstra some of Olynyk’s innate quarterbacking talents emerged last season and in this one.
Approaching 28 years of age in April Olynyk isn’t a spring chicken, but still has quite few seasons left to excel with his non-athletic style of play.
Fellow contemporary rookies Giannis Antetokounmpo and Victor Oladipo have blossomed since their first season into All-Stars, but then quarterbacks are generally paid for their athletic IQ’s rather than physical prowess.
Even today when Olynyk works out of the post you see him making reads of the defense like a quarterback does when he sizes up the other team’s formations before the snap.
Perhaps some of Miami’s recent success over the last 5 games in becoming the top-scoring NBA team per 48 minutes at 119.2 PPG comes from the high basketball IQ minds of Olynyk, Winslow, etc. running super efficient offenses.
Hopefully the formula will last for the seasons ahead since knowledge ages better than physical gifts.