Now we land back with Max Strus. Can he kick the Miami curse and maintain his level of play on another team? History is not on his side, but one factor is: he wasn’t all that good on the Heat last year.
Strus has an inflated reputation because of his strong play in the postseason, but during the regular season with the Heat, he struggled in multiple areas. He shot just 35 percent from 3-point range and 41 percent from the field overall, needing to increase his shot volume to set a career-high with just 11.5 points per game. Looking at Box Plus-Minus, Strus was a negative player on both offense and defense, totaling a -1.7 BPM overall and finishing with just 0.2 points above a replacement. player.
Strus bumped those numbers up during the postseason, starting with a 31-point explosion in a must-win Play-In Tournament game and then…and then his play rode a roller coaster up-and-down, but ultimately ended with 31.9 percent shooting from deep, 40.2 percent from the field and a BPM. Strus had some big games in the postseason but his overall play was not impressive.
That’s what makes this experiment by the Cavaliers so interesting. The Cavs needed a player like Strus, a movement shooter who would open up the court and could defend adequately on the wing. There weren’t many good options on the market, but the player the Cavs invested in wasn’t particularly good last season at the things he was supposed to be good at.
The Cavaliers aren’t just hoping that Strus can defy history and maintain his strong level of play after leaving the Miami Heat; they are hoping he can improve after leaving the Heat. They want an efficient movement shooter who holds up on defense, and that’s not a box Strus fits into neatly when you look at his play last season.
Strus was better the year before, so the template is there, but it’s asking a lot of the Cavs to maximize Strus to the point that he is better than he was in Miami. He and the offense have looked good in the preseason, and hopefully, this swing by the Cavaliers works out.
History, however, suggests that the Cavs and their fans should have a healthy dose of skepticism until things play out. Strus might bring the fire, or he may find he, like so many others before him, cooled off significantly when moving north from Miami.