Olynyk of Kamloops aiming to make NBA Finals history as Heat prepare for Lakers

The 29-year-old South Kamloops secondary graduate and his Miami Heat will square off against Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in the best-of-seven series, which begins on Wednesday in the NBA Bubble near Orlando.

Kelly Olynyk is likely to become the first Kamloopsian to compete in the NBA Finals.

The 29-year-old South Kamloops secondary graduate and his Miami Heat will square off against Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in the best-of-seven series, which begins on Wednesday in the NBA Bubble near Orlando.

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Miami bumped Olynyk’s former team, the Boston Celtics, in six games in the East Final. The Lakers dispatched the Denver Nuggets 4-1 in the West Final.

Olynyk has seen the floor in 12 of the Heat’s 15 post-season games, but did not play in Game 6 of the East Final. He tallied five points in four minutes of action in Game 5, a 121-108 loss to the Celtics.

Miami swept Indiana 4-0 in Round 1 and earned a 4-1 victory over Milwaukee in Round 2.

The 6-foot-11, 240-pound forward averaged 8.2 points in 62 regular-season games in the 2019-2020 campaign, which was postponed in March due to the pandemic and resumed in June.

He has averaged six points, 4.1 rebounds and one assist in 12 games during this post-season.

Only seven Canadians have won the NBA title.

Olynyk and teammate Kyle Alexander, a 23-year-old rookie from Scarborough, Ont., who has not seen the floor in the playoffs and played in only two regular-season games, are aiming to add their names to the list.

At the start of the season, Vegas had the Heat as 75:1 underdogs to win the NBA title.

The Lakers are heavy favourites to win the Finals series, with bettors needing to pay about $440 to earn $100.

Game 1 will get undereway at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. ABC is carrying the series.

Below are statistics and notes provided by NBA Canada:

Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers

  • 4 – Miami is seeking its fourth NBA championship.
  • 5 – The Heat is the first fifth seed to reach the NBA Finals since the current playoff format was implemented in the 1983-84 season.
  • 10 – Miami and Los Angeles both finished in 10th place in their respective conferences last season, making this the first NBA Finals to feature two teams that did not qualify for the playoffs the previous season.
  • 17 – The Lakers are trying to win their 17th NBA championship, which would tie the Boston Celtics for the most in league history.

Players, Coaches and Executives

  • 4 – Heat President Pat Riley coached the Lakers to four NBA championships during the 1980s.
  • 5 – Miami’s Erik Spoelstra is making his fifth NBA Finals appearance as a head coach.
  • 10 – LeBron James will play in his 10th NBA Finals, joining Bill Russell (12), Sam Jones (11) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (10) as the only players with 10 or more appearances.
  • 15 – Fifteen players competing in this season’s NBA Finals have played in the NBA G League, including six Lakers and nine members of the Heat.
  • 29.6 – Los Angeles’ Anthony Davis is averaging 29.6 points in his playoff career.  Only two players have a higher playoff scoring average (minimum 25 games): Michael Jordan (33.4 ppg) and Allen Iverson (29.7 ppg). 
  • 2000 – Miami rookie Tyler Herro will be the first player born in the 2000s to play in the NBA Finals.

The NBA Campus at Disney

  • – Three hotels at Disney World have been used to house players, coaches, team basketball staffs, media, broadcasters and league personnel living in the Orlando campus. 
  • 12/85 – Both the Lakers and Heat are now in their 12th week living at the Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs. Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Sept. 30 marks the 85th consecutive day on campus for both teams.
  • 22 – Twenty-two NBA teams assembled in Florida to complete the 2019-20 season.
  • 115 – More than 115 vehicles have been used to transport players, coaches, referees, support staff, venue operators, media and network television personnel throughout the campus.
  • 150/100 – Close to 150 NBA personnel who work across various departments have each been living on campus for more than 100 days. 
  • 525 – There have been more than 525 fishing excursions booked on campus. 
  • 700 – On average 700 packages arrive daily on campus to the 28,300 square-foot distribution warehouse at Coronado Springs, including a one-day record of nearly 1,200 packages.
  • 1,800  According to league sources, there have been more than 1,800 pickleball games played on the NBA campus at Disney.
  • 3,600 – The NBA has conducted more than 3,600 Zoom media availability sessions, streaming nearly 1.9 million minutes of player and coach interviews.
  • 106,000 – An estimated 106,000 room nights were reserved for the restart.

ESPN’s Wide World of Sports

  • 7 – The NBA campus featured seven practice facilities, which included state-of-the-art weight rooms and training facilities, as well as courts provided by the Heat, Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic.
  • 30 – Beginning on June 22 until the first scrimmage was held on July 22, it took 30 days to assemble the game and practice courts.
  • 66 – ESPN Wide World of Sports basketball arenas feature 66 microphones strategically placed around the game venues, both under and around the playing court.
  • 92 – There are 92 family members who will be in attendance to watch their loved ones compete at AdventHealth Arena, where all the NBA Finals games will be played.
  • 145 – ABC, TNT, ESPN and NBA TV have combined to televise 145 games (16 scrimmages + 52 seeding games + 77 playoff games) throughout the U.S. since play resumed.
  • 199 – ESPN’s Wide World of Sports has hosted 199 games since play resumed.
  • 320 – There will be 320 virtual fans watching each Finals game from home, seen inside the arena as part of Michelob ULTRA Courtside.
  • 805 – The NBA campus has hosted 805 practices since training camp began on July 9.
  • 1,120 – NBA national and regional partners in the U.S. have presented 1,120 hours of televised games over 428 telecasts.
  • 4,627 – NBA game and practice facilities include 4,627 hardwood panels.
  • 16,780 – Fourteen semi-trucks drove 16,780 miles to deliver all basketball floors to Orlando.
  • 583,000 – The total weight of the courts on campus added up to 583,000 pounds.

NBA Finals Broadcast in the United States

  • 1 – Doris Burke will become the first woman to serve as a game analyst for the NBA Finals on any platform when she joins play-by-play voice Marc Kestecher and analyst P.J. Carlesimo for ESPN Radio’s coverage.
  • 1 – Rachel Nichols will serve as the NBA Finals sideline reporter for the first time during ABC’s coverage.
  • 12 – ABC/ESPN’s broadcast team of Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson will work The Finals together for the 12th time.
    • Jackson has made the most appearances for an African-American game analyst for any major North American sports championship event.
  • 14 – Jeff Van Gundy will provide analysis for his 14th consecutive NBA Finals, which is the most for a television analyst covering the event.
  • 15 – Mike Breen will call his 15th straight NBA Finals – the most of any NBA play-by-play commentator.
  • 18 – ESPN will produce The Finals on ABC for the 18th consecutive year.

NBA Digital

  • 18 – NBA TV’s Finals analysts – Charles Barkley, Kevin McHale, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith, Steve Smith and Isiah Thomas – made 18 combined NBA Finals appearances during their playing careers. NBA legends Grant Hill and Chris Webber will round out NBA TV’s Finals team for Turner Sports.

NBA Finals Around the World

  • 5 – There are a combined five international players on NBA Finals rosters: Kyle Alexander (MIA; Canada), Kostas Antetokounmpo (LAL; Greece; BWB Africa 2015), Goran Dragić (MIA; Slovenia), Kelly Olynyk (MIA; Canada; BWB Americas 2009), Chris Silva (MIA; Gabon)
  • 66 – Sixty-six international media members from 23 countries and territories have participated in NBA player Zoom media calls since the start of the NBA Playoffs.
  • 215/48 – The NBA Finals will reach fans in 215 countries and territories in 48 languages on their televisions, computers, mobile phones and tablets.

#NBATogether

  • 61 – To date, the NBA, together with players, the Orlando Magic and Disney, have donated 61 pallets of beverages, snacks, apparel and sporting goods following team departures from campus to local non-profit organizations and school districts serving the greater Orlando community.

NBA Social Media

  • 3,000,000 – More than three million followers have been added across @NBA social accounts since July 1.
  • 5,300,000,000 – Since the season restart on July 30, NBA social channels have generated more 5.3 billion video views.
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