How Strus will make other Cavs better
The final critical aspect of Strus’ 2023-24 season has much less to do with his individual performance and is more so reflected in the ways in which Strus’ shooting acts as an amplifier of surrounding talent. Strus’ greatest contribution to the Cavaliers will be in making life easier for the guys he shares the floor with.
In the Cavaliers’ playoff loss to New York, the Knicks were frequently able to collapse down into the paint, mucking up driving lanes, lob passes, and finishing opportunities around the basket. The Knicks also had success trapping the Cavalier guards, finding ample time to help and recover from Cleveland’s more hesitant perimeter shooting threats.
The difference between a shooter of Strus’ caliber and say, Isaac Okoro or even Caris LeVert, being stationed around the arc is significant.
The extra second a defender stays attached to Strus’ body may make them late to tag the roll. The ghost action that he will run, slipping a screen to the three-point line before even setting it, can break open a switching defense. And of course, if the defense ever does stray too far from Strus, he will make sure to punish them from deep.
For Strus, success this season comes in the form of hitting a high percentage of his threes on high volume, all while taking as little off the table defensibly as possible. It comes in proving himself as a consistently high-level rotation player, trusted to start or close games when called upon, all the while leveraging the threat of his shooting to ease the offensive burden on the Cavaliers’ stars.
If his past performance is any indicator of what’s to come, Strus is well-positioned to provide the Cavaliers exactly what they need this upcoming 2023-24 season as the team looks to make a deep playoff run.