Big man Kelly Olynyk is the Miami Heat’s forgotten player

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 28: Kelly Olynyk
MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 28: Kelly Olynyk /

The Miami Heat haven’t found the right formula for Kelly Olynyk in their lineup, leading to him being overlooked and underutilized. 

This Miami Heat team has seen better days and with a plethora (yes, that is a Three Amigos reference) of turnovers and lineup changes. And we might have to endure a few more before we witness that 30-11 Heat team we were once so excited about.

The positives from this horrendous start however is the lineup experiment, and how Miami is really squeezing the most out of this roster. In the long run, this will end up being the most productive move head coach Erik Spoelstra will have made. Especially as focusing on their depth will be crucial post the All-Star Break.

One of their second unit key dilemmas, is how to insert an undervalued Kelly Olynyk, and how his game can benefit the Heat on both ends of the floor.

Lately, that potential switch has been decreasing, leading to the productivity doing so as well.

The former Gonzaga standout is averaging a solid 10 points per game, with six rebounds adding to that statline. What started as an average of 20-25 minutes per game has now decreased to 15-20, therefore minimizing his undeveloped talent with this roster. Not that he is lacking talent at the forward position, just merely acknowledging that he is being vastly underused in situations where he could change the pace of the game.

At 7-feet, he is a very versatile player that can space the floor exceptionally well. He can also draw attention to the arc, as well as attract that double team inside when the opportunity arises.

He has that skill-set and Miami needs to explore it more. Because really, at 4-6 and ranked No. 13 in the East Conference in early November, what more do they have to lose? They need to continue taking advantage of the constant lineup changes, but modify it to increase Olynyk’s minutes.

In their recent overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, which was one of their most exciting and intense games, Olynyk finished with 23 points and 6 rebounds, in 29 minutes of action. He even finished the night with a +6. They need more of that down the stretch.

In that particular game, the combination of Dion Waiters and Kelly Olynyk worked considerably well, taking into account they were coming from behind. Take away that moronic error in the last seconds when they let their player slip because of a double team, and Miami actually wins that game.

It is still early and Miami has actually absorbed the majority of their losses against playoff contenders, but they need to fix that lineup and quick. They can afford to mix it up for the time being, but if they are still having these issues come January, they are in for a horrible realization once the season comes to an end.

The forgotten Kelly Olynyk has to continue earning minutes because he can make the Heat more versatile. Given the time, and more than anything the opportunity, the doors open for this second unit to really balance out the lineup.

Next: Offensive struggles continue for Miami Heat in Golden State Warriors loss

They just need to trust that rotation, so the big man can keep proving them wrong.