The Cleveland Cavaliers began their season with a one-point victory over the Brooklyn Nets on the road, thanks to heroics by Donovan Mitchell in the closing seconds. However, despite Mitchell’s game-winner being the talk of the town, it was the performance by prized offseason acquisition Max Strus that had everybody in awe. The former Miami Heat forward began his Cavs career with 27 points, tying Mitchell for the most in the game and making franchise history, and he added 12 rebounds in a team-high 38 minutes.

After the game, Cavs teammates far and wide made sure to sing praises for Strus, and Georges Niang’s comments might have been the best of them all (h/t Chris Fedor of

“He was sandbagging all preseason,” the quick-witted Georges Niang told “He was acting like, ‘Oh, I don’t know if this will be a good fit.’ Max is an elite shooter, and he has ultimate confidence. He was elite tonight. We needed that from him.”

Mitchell also raved about Strus’ performance after the game, saying there were things he didn’t know about the new Cavs forward: “There’s a lot to his game that I didn’t know,” said Donovan Mitchell. “I’ve had to guard him. I’ve had to chase him. The shooting is the obvious one. But I think you look at his knowledge, what he sees, the anticipation he plays with, being in the right spots… there are so many things he does, the intangibles he has, that go outside of his shooting…When you add a guy like Max Strus to what we already have, it’s special.”

Mitchell also added that Strus’ movement is “Kyle Korver-esque”, which is a huge testament to Strus as a payer.

After averaging 11.5 PPG with 3.2 rebounds, Strus came to Cleveland and was expected to be a big part of the rotation, but not many saw him tying Mitchell for the lead in points in his debut. SO far so good for Max Strus, and his teammates are loving it.