NBA Playoffs: 3 Cavaliers X-Factors entering Game 6 against Orlando Magic

The Cleveland Cavaliers need one more win to advance in the NBA Playoffs. Now is the time to step up.
Orlando Magic v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Five
Orlando Magic v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Five / Jason Miller/GettyImages
2 of 3

Dear Max Strus, keep knocking down your shots

While Max Strus began the series freezing cold from three-point range, he still provided consistent defense, rebounding and passing for the Cavaliers. Unfortunately, as the Magic warmed up from deep, Cleveland's sharpshooters Strus and Georges Niang stayed silent. In Game 5, Strus came alive and hit four threes alongside six rebounds and five assists. The veteran wing provided a spark for the Cavs in the second half as the Magic surged back once more.

The Cavaliers have had difficult regaining their confidence when the Magic steal the lead. Strus' sudden production from deep was exactly what Cleveland needed to step back up and take down the Magic. Though the Cavs will look to their stars to lead the way, Strus' presence and shooting will play a heavy role in their chances to close out the series in six.

Last year's playoffs were cut short due to absent shooting at the wing. Strus was added as a direct solution to this dilemma. When he is confident and in form, the Cavaliers look nearly unstoppable. The ball begins to move around the court with more purpose and direction, defenses run out of gas as they chase closeouts and are forced to provide help defense on cuts and Cleveland simply looks like they believe in themselves. Strus can often be a catalyst for this offensive dynamic, and the Cavaliers will need that once again in Game 6.