Former Illinois Prep Athletes and their NBA Performances- January 5- Max Strus Returns and drops 25 points

Wednesday evening, eight former Illinois prep athletes saw minutes in various NBA games. Below I look into and share each of their NBA performances from January 6.

Best of the Day: Max Strus

Max Strus (Stagg) has returned from the NBA’s health and safety protocols after being out because of COVID. He last played on December 26 but that did matter one bit. Strus stepped on the court and was an immediate spark scoring the first Heat points of the night. He finished the night with a team-high 25 points, 6 rebounds, and a career-high 5 assists.

  • Max Strus (Stagg/Miami Heat)- 31 minutes, a team-high 25 points, 9/17 FG, 7/13 3PT, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, a turnover, and +8 in a 115-109 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Rest of the Day’s Performances:

  • Robert Covington (Proviso West/Portland Trail Blazers)- 28 minutes, 10 points, 3/9 FG, 2/6 3PT, 2/2 FT, an offensive rebound, 9 total rebound, a turnover, and -5 in a 115-109 loss to the Miami Heat.
  • Keita Bates-Diop (University/San Antonio Spurs)- 25 minutes, 6 points, 3/6 FG, a game-high 4 offensive rebounds (tied with Robert Williams III), 2 assists, a steal, a turnover, and -2 in a 99-97 win over the Boston Celtics.
  • Keifer Sykes (Marshall/Indiana Pacers)- 40 minutes, 18 points, 6/10 FG, 2/4 3PT, 4/4 FT, 3 assists, 5 rebounds, a turnover, and -6 in a 99-97 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
  • Jalen Brunson (Stevenson/Dallas Mavericks)- 34 minutes, 15 points, 6/15 FG, 0/3 3PT, 3/4 FT, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 assists, and a team-worst -2 in a 99-82 in a Golden State Warriors.
  • Sterling Brown (Proviso East/Dallas Mavericks)- 15 minutes, 1/2 FG, 1/2 3PT, 2/2 FT, 4 rebounds, an assist, a turnover, and a game-high +29 in a 99-82 win over the Golden State Warriors.
  • Fred VanVleet (Auburn/Toronto Raptors)- 39 minutes, 19 points, 7/18 FG, 5/10 3PT, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, a block (tied with 3 others), a block, a turnover, and a zero plus-minus in 117-111 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
  • Patrick Beverly (Marshall/Minnesota Timberwolves)- 26 minutes, 20 points, 6/11 FG, 5/9 3PT, 3/4 FT, an offensive rebound, 4 total rebounds, a game-high 6 assists (tied with Josh Giddey), a steal, a block, and +19 in a 98-90 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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