Heat’s Kelly Olynyk Dominates In Win Over Brazil
In their recently concluded game against Brazil in the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, Miami Heat forward Kelly Olynyk recorded 20 points, 19 rebounds, four steals and three assists for Canada as they improve to a 6-1 record and share the group F top spot with Venezuela.
Point guard Cory Joseph contributed 16 points and one assist and Tristan Thompson (10 points and 12 rebounds) also had significant contributions in the win.
The next game is expected to be much tougher for the Canadians as they travel to face the Chile National Team without most of their key players, including Olynyk. Asked about his thoughts on his team moving forward to the next round of games Olynyk said,
“There’s a lot of these games that guys like me or Kevin [Pangos], NBA guys or EuroLeague guys can’t play in,” the Miami Heat forward said.
“That’s why you have a pool of guys and everybody that’s there to support and build that system and that structure to be able to do it. It’s not easy. I commend them very much and we’re very appreciative for what they’re doing for us. We’re very thankful they’re there to step in.”
The Canadians will make a 19-hour trek to Valdivia, Chilefor a sold-out game against the Chileans on Monday. Most of the NBA players on their roster will not be able to join the trip as NBA training camps are around the corner and other players return to their commitments in the Euroleague.
If Canada can qualify for the World Cup, there is a high chance they can bring in their full complement of NBA players, including RJ Barrett, who’s projected to be a top three pick in next year’s draft.