The Miami Heat return 13 players from last year’s roster, forcing Erik Spoelstra to join the rotation.
Tyler Hero and Caleb Martin jumped into the starting lineup, moving Max Struss to the Heat bench. Strus appeared in and started all 18 of Miami’s playoff games last season.
Despite his backup role on Spoelstra’s improved bench, the small forward’s head is high.
“I think what I do fits any lineup,” Struss said, per the Sun Sentinel. “So it’s not hard to adjust to playing a certain way. I think that’s one of my strengths, just getting in where you fit in – I’m trying to do a good job of that and letting our main guys do their job and give them space. And shoot the ball when I’m open.
Given Miami’s legendary organizational culture, it’s no surprise that Strauss has embraced his new role and focused on whatever he can to help the team win. In Miami’s season opener against the Chicago Bulls, Strauss scored 22 points, including 5-7 on three-pointers, and grabbed seven rebounds to increase his bench totals by 50 percent.
With new rotations and different players on the floor together, the heat is playing less. While Strus plays power forward, he wants to focus on rebounding.
“There’s going to be little guys out there who have to come back. We need our guards to step up and recover – I can do that. So I’m willing to go down there and talk to the big guys and help out on the board.
In addition to lasering on his resurgence this season, Strauss believes he is in the best shape of his career.
Before training camp, he said, “I’m the lightest and probably the strongest I’ve ever been. I’m probably eight kilos lighter, which doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a lot. I’m more of a leaner weight. So that was my plan. And I think it helps me to be more explosive and to be leaner and more ripped on my body.
Strus looks to shine again in his new role when the Heat host the Boston Celtics tonight.