Miami Heat big man Kelly Olynyk showing off his versatility

BOCA RATON – At one point during the Miami Heat’s scrimmage Saturday at Florida Atlantic University, Kelly Olynyk knocked down a three pointer and a couple of possessions later made a nice entry pass to Rodney McGruder for an easy layup attempt.

And Olynyk was playing center.

The theme for the scrimmage was versatility.

Heat center/forward Kelly Olylnyk being defended by Matt Williams (right) and AJ Hammons in the open court during Saturday’s scrimmage at FAU . (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Justise Winslow played both forward positions. Josh Richardson saw time at three positions. Bam Adebayo alternated between power forward and center and the 7-foot Olynyk showed off his point-center skills.

Olynyk finished with 13 points and nine rebounds. He also dished out three assists and one bloody nose – after smacking guard Richardson in the face – during the scrimmage. Richardson was laughing about the incident following the scrimmage.

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“We want to build on that,” coach Erik Spoelstra said about Olynyk’s versatility. “And really to be fair we’re getting to know him and we want to be open to his skill set. We want to challenge ourselves to be able to utilize that versatility in as many dynamic ways as possible, but do it at a healthy rate where he feels comfortable.”

Olynyk remains very much in the getting-to-know-you phase of his Heat career having signed a four-year, $50 million free agent contract in July and with just four practices and a scrimmage to his credit.

He started Saturday at center for the Red team opposite Hassan Whiteside. But he also played alongside Whiteside (players went from team to team allowing coaches to look at different combinations) later in the scrimmage.

“Hassan is a force down there,” Olynyk said. “Everything will improve once I know what they want to accomplish and get a few more practices under my belt and you know the tendencies. But just knowing where your teammates are and where you want to force guys and what they want to do, that’s what it comes down to.

“There’s still a progression. I’m just getting used to everybody’s style. … where they like the ball, what they like to do, tendencies, that kind of stuff.”

Olynyk took 11 shots with most of his six field goals coming at the rim. He did attempt five 3 pointers, making one.

Dion Waiters said playing with Olynyk “makes the game easier” because of his versatility.

“You can see he spaces the floor for guys like me, Goran (Dragic), Tyler (Johnson), J-Rich, guys who like to attack and get downhill, get in the lane and make plays for others,” Waiters said.

“You really got to pick your poison out there with me and him in a pick-and-roll. Do you come all the way over and help and leave him open or do you stay at home? There’s a lot of different interesting things there. We just got to keep building that chemistry.”

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