The Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat will get the 2023 NBA Finals going from Ball Arena in Denver on Thursday, June 1. The Nuggets are appearing in the Finals for the first time in franchise history, while the Heat are the second No. 8 seed ever to make the Finals. They are also the first team to make the Finals from the play-in tournament.
We’re going to break down the prominent players in this series on both teams and look at how they’ll impact the matchup. Here’s a look at Heat guard Max Strus.
Max Strus 2023 NBA playoffs overview
Postseason stats: 10.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.0 apg, 45.2 FG%, 35.9 3p%
Strus hasn’t really fired from deep at a great clip, and he’s not getting good looks outside of his usual volume from the perimeter. The Heat have trusted Strus in big moments, and he’s generally delivered but still doesn’t quite have the offensive consistency they’d like. If he can get hot from deep though, he’ll take the game away from the opposition.
Odds entering NBA Finals (via DraftKings Sportsbook)
Finals MVP: +40000
Scoring leader: +7000
Rebounding leader: N/A
Assists leader: N/A
3PM leader: +700
How Max Strus can win Finals MVP
There’s really only one way Strus can come through and win Finals MVP; hit a lot of three-point shots. That’s his best skill and it’s the statistical category where he has the best chance to lead the Finals. Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Caleb Martin and Gabe Vincent will all get more usage offensively, so this would have to be a ridiculously efficient showing from Strus in the Finals. It’s hard to see his triples alone resulting in the Heat winning, but that’s the path for him to get the hardware.