By: Cole Shelton
Justin Strings and the KW Titans have evened up the series against the St. John's Edge. The Titans have now won two games in a row, and a big part of their success in Game 3 was rookie, Justin Strings. He came off the bench and chipped in with 17 points and played a key part on the defensive end to help the Titans get the win.
"It is a lot of fun. It is a good experience to have, especially with only four teams being left," Strings said. "It's special to be a part of and I'm glad to be a part of it with this team.
"It feels good. I think overall, the way our team is built we are like the next man up approach. Whoever's night it is we just continue to feed that guy the ball and get the win however we can," he continued. "We have had a lot of people step up this year and a lot of people play different roles due to injuries or whatever. We are 12-deep and whoever is out there we have full confidence in and trust them."
Although having a good offensive night as he did is special and a game everyone remembers, Strings cares more about defence. He understands just how important the defensive game is, especially going up against the likes of Carl English and Glen Davis among others.
"I think it is definitely important. Defence is as part of the game as offence," Strings explained. "So, if you can prevent your man from scoring you are helping your team a lot. As a team, we take pride in defence and I try to do the same. I take pride in my defence to try and get steals, blocks. Just whatever I need to do to help the team win."
Not only is he an ace on the defensive end, but the power forward can also defend multiple positions, and start as well as come off the bench. To have that kind of versatility is something he knows is important.
"I pride myself on my versatility. I have been trying to be as well rounded as possible," he said. "I try to be a mismatch and take whatever the defence gives me when I am out there. We have a lot of guys like that on our team. We have. A lot of versatility and try and attack everywhere.
"I started for awhile then came off the bench for awhile so you get into a pattern, get into a rhythm. I try to play the same way whether I am starting or coming off the bench," he added. "Whether that is from scoring, rebounding or locking it down defensively."
Ultimately, to leave 'The Rock' down 0-2 was tough, but two wins at home have evened up the series and given the Titans life in the series. For the Titans to succeed they need to play well at home according to Strings.
"It was important. Especially coming back to The Aud we felt we had played decent, but not great on the road," he said. "So, with that being said, if we can continue to improve and take care of business at home we should be alright."
In the end, KW has a shot to go to the Finals and that is all thanks to their solid defensive play, helped by Justin Strings. And, Strings believes defence is the key to success in this series with whichever team plays better defence will win the series.
"I think it just starts with us playing good defence and controlling the game. Just taking away what they like to do. Obviously, they have a system they run and if we can get their go-to guys out of their offensive set it will help us get the fast breaks and make our offence better. I think defence is key in this series," he concluded.