Miami's Strus enjoys return to DePaul

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Miami Heat guard Max Strus signals to his teammates during on Oct. 27 game against the Brooklyn Nets in New York.

    Miami Heat guard Max Strus signals to his teammates during on Oct. 27 game against the Brooklyn Nets in New York. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 11/27/2021 8:22 PM

Miami has been waiting in Chicago for two days to play the Bulls, which provided a chance for Heat guard Max Strus to return to DePaul on Friday night.

Strus is the former Bulls two-way player and Hickory Hills native who attended Stagg High School. He's averaging 6.5 points for the Heat this season.

 

When Strus helped promote DePaul's game against Northern Kentucky on his Instagram this week, Heat teammate Jimmy Butler left a helpful comment, which read, "Ain't nobody coming to no (expletive) Strus night."

But people from the Heat did venture out to Wintrust Arena for the game, including head coach Eric Spoelstra.

"That was really special just to see him in that environment and see all the people that really care about him at DePaul," Spoelstra said before Saturday's game. "But Max has been terrific for us. He's another guy who has come up through our program with a different path than a lot of guys in this league."

Strus and Mark Aguirre are the only DePaul players to score at least 700 points in a season.

"It was humbling," Strus said in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "It was gratifying just to hear my name be called like that again and people yelling, 'Strus.' It just means so much for me. I've met a lot of these fans personally and I care deeply about them. They're loyal fans and they were here all the time to support me."

Small to big:

While the Bulls decide whether to add height to their lineup, Miami is in the same boat. The Bulls start 6-4 Javonte Green at power forward, while the Heat is using 6-5 P.J. Tucker, and have an undersized center in 6-9 Bam Adebayo.

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"Adebayo may be height-wise undersized, but I don't think he plays small," Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. "To me, it's like the whole Golden State thing, everybody said Golden State was small. Golden State was not small. That's like one of the biggest misconceptions.

"If you want to look at Draymond Green as a center as it relates to his height being small, I'll buy that, but I don't buy that Shawn Livingston, (Andre) Iguodala, Klay Thompson and those guys at their position and their physicality and their length and athleticism would be considered small. I think Miami kind of falls into that category too. Jimmy Butler can guard 1-4, so that to me is not a small guy."

Butler loves old home:

Jimmy Butler talked about his latest return to Chicago, where his career began.

"I've got so much love for Chicago," Butler said, according to the Sun-Sentinel. "That's where I first learned to hate the Miami Heat. And then when I left, I learned to love the Miami Heat, and the way they do things. There's so many familiar faces, so much love. Always glad to go back and compete."

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