Miami Heat Guard Max Strus is only entering his sophomore year on the team, his first as a standard contract player, but he’s aiming for a bigger role for the 2021-22 NBA season and isn’t afraid to get loud on the pitch.
“That’s what Spo preaches, leadership at all levels,” said Strus, according to Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman. “I have a year here under my belt. I know the system. I know what we are doing and what we want to do. I don’t care so much about telling the guys what to do. Rather, it is to try to help them and show them what we are doing. “
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While it made sense for the 6-foot-5 swingman to take a leadership role during the Miami Summer League in Las Vegas, where he averaged 20.8 points in 31.2 minutes per game and 40% from depth (Jan. -for-45) shot 39.1% off the field (27-for-69) in four competitions – but on the Heat’s regular season list, which is filled with real NBA veterans like Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler, PJ Tucker and Markieff Morris is – it’s a different story.
“I know who to talk to and who not to,” said Strus, “with a smile,” noted Winderman. “So I learned a lesson. Kyle once told me to shut up, but most of the time you’re pretty good at it. And they’re great speakers too. You want this leadership the same way. They expect it from me and expect it from everyone. “
“I know the guys are veterans and have been in the league for a while and they know what they’re doing here. There is no way I am telling them what to do, but I just want to help them learn faster … I mean, communication is the most important thing to be successful. It’s something that I’ve learned on the side and that I always want to get better at. “
While it is not yet clear how Spoelstra will use Strus this season, Strus remains ready for whatever the team needs.
“It’s early,” said Strus. “I don’t know yet what my role will be. We’re still trying to figure out how we all fit together. But doing that in the summer league gave me all the confidence to do it. So when I get into this situation, I’m ready for it. “
“I will be ready whatever my role this year and whatever the team will use me,” said Strus. During the offseason, The Heat signed a two-year deal with Strus worth $ 3.5 million. As a two-way player last season, he averaged 6.1 points in 39 games for Miami.
“As one of our young players in development, Max has shown that he can be very productive for us,” said Heat president Pat Riley. “Last season he strengthened and produced as needed. His shooting and his overall game will help our team immensely. “
It’s always a good sign when an aspiring player is recognized by the Heat team leader, Jimmy Butler. Back in February, the five-time all-star said he loves what he sees when it comes to Strus.
“He shoots the ball,” Butler said on NBA.com. “I’ve seen him doing it every day. I don’t care if someone is in front of you if I give you this bad baby, if Bam passes it on, if you get yourself a shot, get you a shot, because that’s what you do, that’s your part in it Team. And he’s really damn good at it. “
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