In every weekly roundup, three Cavaliers will be awarded “Crowley’s Crowns” in which I highlight their efforts and positive performances for Cleveland in the past week of action.
The first crown of the 2023-24 season has to go to Max Strus, the newest wing player in Cleveland. Not only was his franchise debut record a marvelous showing, he coupled his scoring with a team-high 12 rebounds and strong defensive effort.
Over three games with the Cavaliers, Strus is averaging 18.7 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1 steal with a 39.4 percent of his 3-point attempts hitting. Before joining Cleveland, Strus only averaged 2.7 total rebounds per game, and though his near double-double will likely not continue throughout the whole season, the effort is commendable and undeniable.
The production Strus brings has not gone unnoticed, with Donovan Mitchell comparing his new teammate to a former wing and legendary shooter Mitchell played alongside in Utah.
With Jarrett Allen’s injury keeping him out of action, having Strus commit to getting the Cavaliers started in transition and prevent the opponent from getting second chances has been exactly what Cleveland needed in these first few outings. Additionally, Strus has not shied from jumping into passing lanes, deflecting passes and shifting the momentum in the Cavs’ favor.
Entering the season, Strus was going to be able to help the Cavaliers in a lot of ways, but defense was the one caveat and cause for concern. He has quieted these worries and is making a great impact right away.