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Team Canada fails to secure Olympic berth despite 34 points from Kelly Olynyk

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Kelly O-Canada

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Kelly Olynyk did his best to help Team Canada qualify for the Olympics, but the team fell short in part due to a questionable foul call. Canada will still get another shot at qualifying.

It is encouraging to hear that Olynyk played so well for his home country.

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Olynyk led all scorers with 34 points on 11-for-13 shooting, adding 13 rebounds. Brady Heslip (10 points) was the only other Canadian in double figures. Andrew Wiggins scored nine points on 4-for-11 shooting, while Anthony Bennett went scoreless in 16 minutes. Olynyk and Wiggins combined for 10 turnovers.

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There were 17 turnovers, many ghastly and unforced; there were a dozen loose balls that weren’t corralled, there were missed rebounds and a general malaise that was in stark contrast to the way Canada had played each night for more than a week. Nerves? Perhaps. "It seemed like we were a little bit unsure, said Triano. "I think this is a great experience for our young kids, Kelly (Olynyk, masterful with 34 points) is one of our most veteran guys, he’s been here before . . . a lot of these other guys have not been in this climate."

Hopefully this experience builds upon some of Kelly's NBA experience to give him a shot at hitting the ground running this year.  Clearly he'll have to scrape to get playing time in a crowded frontcourt.  But he's got the talent to excel and has a good opportunity to carve out a larger role in the offense.