It’s possible the Cleveland Cavaliers will be without another key piece for Monday night’s game against the Chicago Bulls.
After starting forward Max Strus left the Cavs’ game in Paris against the Brooklyn Nets last week with knee soreness he, is listed as questionable on the team’s injury report with that same issue.
“Max has been bothered by some knee stuff so we’ve been trying to monitor and try to do what’s right by him,” Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said after the game. “But just tonight, we thought it was best to save him from himself a little bit. Obviously, he wants to play every minute so we just thought it was the right thing to do to protect him and get him some treatment and see how he feels for Chicago on Monday.”
Strus, 27, was the Cavs’ big offseason acquisition as a sign-and-trade with the Miami Heat. For the year, he’s averaging a career-high 13.4 points per game to go with 4.9 rebounds per game while shooting 40.1% from the field and 34.5% from three. If he’s unable to go, look for Sam Merrill to start in his place. Merrill started the second half against Brooklyn and can fill the role of floor spacer in the starting five. He’s not as stout defensively as Strus, nor the same level of ball mover. But he’ll do in a pinch.
Tipoff for Cavs-Bulls is at 7 p.m. Don’t expect to get a definitively answer about Strus’ status until near tipoff.