Kelly Olynyk has been compared to Dirk Nowitzki countless times, especially by our very own and beloved Tommy Heinsohn. While the comparison seems extremely outlandish, they do have one skill set in common besides their long hair, three point shooting.
Right now, Olynyk is on a pretty historic pace for percentage of three pointers made on at least one attempt per game. Via Jay King of MassLive.com:
Olynyk is actually on pace to accomplish something as a shooter that Nowitzki never did. Actually, no 7-footer in NBA history has ever hit 43.3 percent from the 3-point arc on at least one attempt per game, which Olynyk is doing a little more than midway through the season (on a healthy 3.2 tries per contest). The current record over a full season, according to Basketball-Reference.com? In 2009-10, when Nowitzki hit 42.1 percent from deep. Incredibly, Olynyk has already drilled more 3-pointers than Nowitzki did that season.
In December, Olynyk shot 46.3% from beyond the arc and so far in the month of January he's been even more deadly from the three point line shooting 51.2%. It's a great development to see the big man being consistent with his shot. After his first two seasons in which he struggled at times shooting the ball, it's very encouraging to see him finally feeling comfortable enough to shoot the ball more. Kelly's improvement in shooting has helped the Celtics move the ball around more and to kick it out to him whenever his teammates are driving to the basket.
Does Kelly Olynyk need to improve on other parts of his game? While the obvious answer to that question is yes, it's still nice to see him become one of the best big man shooters in the game. Once Olynyk improves on his inside game and defense some more, he can really become a tremendous all-around player.
Image Credit: David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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