3 Cleveland Cavaliers helped by the arrival of wing Max Strus

Max Strus, Miami Heat. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Max Strus, Miami Heat. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Donovan Mitchell and J.B. Bickerstaff, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports) /

J.B. Bickerstaff will benefit the most from Strus’ arrival

Every honest viewer of the Cavaliers failed postseason run saw one consistent, fatal flaw – a repetitive and stagnant offense. Some of that came from the inexperience of J.B. Bickerstaff as a head coach in the Playoffs. Some of that resulted from a glaring lack of depth across the board.

The Cavaliers had no excuse to lose in a gentleman’s sweep with homecourt advantage. As the leader of the team, much of that disappointment in the fanbase fell onto Bickerstaff.

When Koby Altman confirmed that Bickerstaff’s job was not in jeopardy in the wake of numerous high-profile head coaches being fired, Cleveland was split. In the end, it became clear that if Bickerstaff stayed, he had to make the most of the moves Cleveland made during the offseason.

With Strus being one of the newest on the Cavaliers roster, Bickerstaff now has the assets and players he needs to remind Altman why he’s here. There is no question that the team respects and loves Bickerstaff. Not a single Cavalier seemed to pin the blame of their failure on J.B. or the coaching staff in general. He has the loyalty of the locker room, and that has to stand for something.

Going into the next season, though, Bickerstaff absolutely must display a better and more assertive offensive mind. While Garland and Mitchell can be masterful in the high pick-and-roll set, the repetitive playbook allowed opponents to predict every move the Cavs made.

Max Strus changes that. Strus is a high-volume, accurate shooter and active off the ball. To place Strus on the perimeter to do nothing more than stand and hope he gets the ball would be a waste of the proven wing’s value.

And, there is no reason to expect that to happen.

Bickerstaff is the reason Garland exploded and earned his first (of hopefully many) All-Star appearances. The same goes for Jarrett Allen. As for Evan Mobley, Bickerstaff’s defensive intelligence maximized Mobley’s innate skills and elevated them to the point that Mobley earned a spot on the NBA All-Defensive First Team in only his second year – a feat that only the greats tend to achieve.

Although Cleveland’s recent disappointing season’s end still looms heavily over the city, the development of the many young prospects the Cavaliers have molded in recent years speaks volumes to Bickerstaff’s talents.

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If he can continue this trend and improve himself, then Strus will fit in perfectly and be heavily appreciated by Cleveland’s main man.