Pair of Former Celtics Go off Against Their Old Team
Photo Credit: Mike Lawrie/Getty Images & Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Kelly Olynyk and Jordan Mickey did things against their old team for the Miami Heat they never accomplished while wearing a Boston Celtics jersey, during the Heat’s 90-89 victory over Boston.
During their tenure with Boston, Olynyk was a key rotational player, while Mickey primarily appeared on the court in garbage time situations.
However, the duo far exceeded their former roles with the Celtics in Wednesday’s game, as Mickey provided valuable minutes for Miami off the bench and Olynyk’s play as a starter was one of the major factors the Heat came away with the win.
Olynyk’s play was the highlight of the evening, the seven-footer dropped a career high 32 points (one point shy of Kyrie Irving’s game high 33) with a variety of finishing moves.
The former Celtic got Boston’s defenders off-balance and up in the air with a series of up-fakes, using the time he created to either lean in and draw a foul or drive to the basket.
Boston had no other choice but to respect Olynyk’s jump-shot since he was so locked in from beyond the arc during the contest, finishing six of eight from three-point range.
He also added seven, rebounds, one block, and a steal to his stat line. It was one of the best performances of Olynyk’s career, even rivaling his late-game takeover in the 2017 Eastern Conference Semi-finals against the Washington Wizards.
— NBA (@NBA) December 21, 2017
Meanwhile, Mickey logged 24 minutes for Miami off the bench and flirted with a double-double as he collected eight points and eight rebounds. Two of Mickey’s eight boards came on the offensive glass, a third of the Heat’s total offensive rebounds in the game.
Though Mickey’s numbers don’t jump off the stat sheet, they’re a sizable improvement for the player who never averaged more than two points or rebounds during his two-year run with the Celtics.
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 21, 2017
Olynyk and Mickey were never really expected to return to fold for Boston after their massive roster last offseason. Olynyk especially turned out to be way out of the Celtics’ price range to retain him, as the big man signed a four-year/$50 million contract to join Miami last summer.
Both players seemed to want to make clear cases that Boston should have made a larger effort to bring them back when they balled out against their former club.