Back in the days when Mario Chalmers and Michael Beasley shared the court alongside Whiteside, Whiteside introduced Heat basketball to Olynyk in a contest against the Boston Celtics.
Not that Olynyk is a stranger to physical contact on the basketball court as he and Kelly Oubre Jr. traded football-style blocks in a Celtics versus Washington Wizards game.
The football and Olynyk connection goes way back to his days playing Canadian football where he actually fractured his shoulder while quarterbacking his high-school team.
If taking a charge in the NBA is considered tough, then Olynyk will tell you what standing in the pocket as a quarterback in Canada is like, that you very much.
Now that is taking a charge, which Udonis Haslem knows a thing about for Miami.
The physicality under the rim in the NBA seems tame compared to what could happen to a quarterback who gets blindsided, while watching his teammates on the field as Olynyk can vouch for.
In an understatement after the Hornets’ game Bam Adebayo said this about Olynyk,
“I’d expect Kelly to be there. He would probably take the charge. Charge is even better.”
After their meeting a few seasons ago, Whiteside now seems to prefer having Olynyk on his side rather than vis-a-versa,
”I told him I’m his insurance,” he quipped. “You know, you in trouble, you can call 800-SWAT.”
With Olynyk as a stretch four maybe this twin-tower approach could work, like it does for Erik Spoelstra’s good friend Tim Cone in the Philippines, who won 21 PBA Championships favoring it.
No two NBA teams are same, since as an example Steven Kerr found small-ball worked best for a Golden State Warriors team built around a generational talent like Stephen Curry.
Kerr acknowledged that besides the glamor of 3-point scoring, rebounding and rest are keys to his group’s success,
“The thinking was, Andre [Iguodala] was our best defender on LeBron [James], anyway. Draymond [Green] could guard [Timothy] Mozgov, Harrison [Barnes] could guard [Tristan] Thompson, then we just have to rebound like crazy.
“It’s not something normally that we’ve been able to do for long periods of time. It’s pretty tiring for Harrison and Draymond.”
Now that Whiteside and Olynyk have reconciled their differences, the Heat can display how they do things other teams simply can’t duplicate because of Miami’s unique mix of talent on the roster.