Max Strus explains questionable decision to foul Rudy Gobert at end of Heat-Timberwolves game'
3 Min Read

Miami Heat wing Max Strus defended his questionable decision to foul Rudy Gobert late in the fourth quarter in Miami’s 105-101 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday.

The Heat were trailing by two points with a five-second difference on the shot clock late in the fourth. It looked like Miami was attempting to get a stop, but Strus decided to foul Gobert with just 9.2 seconds remaining after the Wolves had wasted most of the shot clock.

Gobert, who scored just four points in the game, went on to hit both free throws and essentially ice the game for Minnesota. Strus explained his decision to foul following the loss.

“Historically, he’s not a great free-throw shooter,” Strus said of Gobert. “So we had a chance to put him at the line.”

For his career, Gobert has shot just 64.0 percent from the charity stripe, but he’s been decent so far this season, shooting 70.9 percent from the line.

Strus’ line of thinking isn’t horrible, but the fact that he and the Heat waited until the shot clock nearly expired to foul makes very little sense. It put the Heat in a situation where they needed Gobert to miss at least one of the shots to have a real chance to force overtime or win the game.

Even though Gobert isn’t a great free-throw shooter, he’s also not a surefire miss from the line given his career numbers.

The Heat have been without several key players recently, so the team couldn’t really afford to make too many mistakes against the Wolves on Monday. Strus’ decision proved to be the wrong one, leading to the team’s fourth straight loss.

The Heat are now just 7-11 on the season and currently the No. 12 seed in the Eastern Conference. There is a lot of time to turn things around, but Miami may look back at this game as one that got away.

Miami will look to get back on track on Wednesday when it takes on the Washington Wizards at home. That game is scheduled to tip off at 7:30 p.m. EST.

Share This Article
Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.