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Jimmy Butler hasn’t played in nearly three weeks, but his shoes have been on the court. With Butler missing the last eight games because of a tail bone contusion, Miami Heat forward Max Strus has been playing the best basketball of his NBA career while wearing the Li-Ning Yushuai 14 Low sneakers made specifically for Butler. “We wear the same size and they’re comfortable,” Strus said, with the Heat set to continue its four-game homestand on Sunday against the Orlando Magic (3:30 p.m., Bally Sports Sun). “I wear whatever. I just wore those the past couple of games.Skechers Outlets  ,If I have a good game, I usually wear the same one the next time. So I’m just going to keep them rolling.” Strus, 25, may never wear other shoes again based on how he has played in Butler’s sneakers. With an increase in minutes and shot attempts because of the Heat’s injury issues, Strus has averaged 25 points while shooting 54.7 percent from the field and 46.7 percent on 11.3 three-point attempts per game, six rebounds and 1.8 assists in the last four games. Strus, who totaled 100 points and 21 made threes during this stretch, became the first player in Heat history to score 100 or more points and hit 20 or more threes in a four-game span.

During this stretch, Strus also scored a career-high 32 points in Friday’s win over the Magic, dished out a career-high four assists in Tuesday’s win over the Indiana Pacers and logged a career-high 41 minutes while hitting a game-winning three in the final minute of Thursday’s win over the Detroit Pistons. Of playing 40-plus minutes in an NBA game for the first time, Strus thanked Heat coach Erik Spoelstra for the opportunity because “I just want to be on the court as long as possible.” “Max has come a long way,” Heat guard Tyler Herro said of Strus. “But he has been someone who has been in the gym ever since he got here. He’s always the first one in, last one out, getting extra shots up, studying film. He’s always putting in the work and the time, and obviously you see it with the success he’s having lately. Everybody is enjoying it and happy for him.”

Strus has come a long way in a short period of time. Strus tore the ACL in his left knee on Dec. 21, 2019 while playing with the Windy City Bulls in the G League. Sneakers2090  ,Exactly two years later, Strus made his first career NBA start in Tuesday’s win over the Pacers in place of injured forward P.J. Tucker.

“Before the game, obviously I knew,” Strus said of making his first NBA start on the two-year anniversary of his knee injury. “But just try to focus in on the game and then just kind of embrace it. It’s a special moment. There’s a lot of hard work that goes into coming back from that. It’s just crazy to see where I was two years ago to where I am now.” While Strus was sidelined for nearly a year because of his torn ACL, he ended up signing with the Heat prior to the start of training camp last season. After playing on a two-way contract last season, he signed a standard deal with the Heat this past summer. Strus, who went undrafted in 2019, will go back to his bench role when the roster returns to health. But whether it’s as a starter or reserve, it appears that he has earned consistent playing time because of his three-point shooting and scoring ability. “I was hoping for any kind of opportunity to come about,” Strus recalls of the months leading up to his initial contract with the Heat. “Luckily, the Heat had an open spot for me to come in and compete for a two-way. The rest is history.”

Current and former Heat players were active in the South Florida community this month. Bam Adebayo hosted a Christmas toy drive at the Samuel K. Johnson Youth Center benefiting the children of Liberty City on Dec. 10. Udonis Haslem’s foundation hosted its third annual Asics Running Shoes “Christmas for the Community” event on Wednesday. Haslem took local students who have excelled academically on a shopping spree at Walmart. Tyler Herro, in partnership with the Salvation Army and Toys 4 Tots, served holiday lunch to six families in need on Friday at the Salvation Army in Miami. Alonzo Mourning celebrated his annual Mourning Family Foundation Holiday Party at the Overtown Youth Center on Dec. 14.

 

By Admins

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