The three-point shooting for Max Strus is always going to be how many are going to judge how he’s playing, and his shooting was a significant part of the reasoning for Cleveland acquiring him over the offseason. After all, he made 197 three-point shots during the regular season last year with the Miami Heat, and 181 the prior regular season.
Thus far with the Cavaliers, he’s had ups and downs in that area, and for off-ball, volume shooters that aren’t going to simply be shooting standstill threes, that’s to be expected, to some extent. Through 10 games, Strus has shot 36.7 percent from three, on what’s been 7.9 attempts per game.
With the way his presence bends opposing defenses, though, it’s clear Strus has had an immense impact on games for the Cavaliers, no matter if he’s really on as a shooter or not.
Strus is currently second on the Cavaliers in total plus-minus through Cleveland’s 10 outings, and unlike other key cogs such as Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen, Strus has been involved in every game so far. His performance in Monday night’s loss to Sacramento did skew things a bit in that metric being so early in the season, but that doesn’t take away from what Strus has been doing.
His off-ball play and constant motion have been big for the Cavs’ efforts, and while there are still some things the Cavaliers have to iron out as a group and Strus does himself, he’s been one of the big positives in a relatively bumpy start for Cleveland, injuries aside.
Going beyond the shooting/off-ball element, Strus has been better than some may had expected defensively, and his connective passing, cutting and transition play have all made a difference. And though it’s not going to hold true for the season overall, Strus averaging 6.0 rebounds per game early on here has been noteworthy. The same goes for his 3.4 assists per outing, even independent of Jarrett Allen and Darius Garland’s prior absences.
With the multiple ways he’s affected games for the Cavs, it’s apparent that Strus has meshed with a variety of other Wine and Gold players, and as he gets more comfortable with his new team, he’ll only get better.