Max Strus is changing Cleveland Cavalier culture for the better
All of Strus' efforts and talents are not just helping the Cavs win games. He is changing the culture in Cleveland for the better.
It would be hard to find anyone who watched the Cavaliers be dismantled by the lower-seeded Knicks in the playoffs and believe Cleveland had a winning culture when it matters. The Cavs cannot be entirely blamed for this, either, as plenty of their core had never seen the playoffs before that series. The Knicks' best players all had deep playoff runs in their history, and they were led by a two-time Coach of the Year in Tom Thibodeau.
One playoff embarrassment is enough, though. The Cavs have too much talent to be bounced early year-after-year. This is a year for the team to prove themselves, especially with Donovan Mitchell's extension looming over their heads. Max Strus was a starter on a team that went from the Play-In Tournament to the NBA Finals. If anybody can show the Cavaliers how to win in the playoffs, it is Strus.
Other than Tristan Thompson, Strus is the only player in Cleveland's nightly rotation who has seen the NBA Finals. As the only one in the starting lineup with that experience, he needs to set the tone on the court and show his teammates the right mindset. So far, he has absolutely done this, and the rest of the team will hopefully follow suit as injuries finally subside.
In total, Max Strus' best season of his career so far has been this one. Similarly, Donovan Mitchell had his best season in his first year with the Cavaliers. For all the worthy criticism they face, something is being done right by Cleveland. Time will tell how far they can go, but however far that is, Max Strus is going to continue making the difference wherever he can.