The Cleveland Cavaliers are counting on big things from Dion Waiters this year, and the rookie has shown some positive signs in the last two preseason games.
Waiters, the No. 4 pick in the NBA draft, struggled in his first two preseason games coming off the bench. On Friday though, Waiters was very active and filled up the stat sheet. The Syracuse product scored 18 points, shot four for four on three pointers, and dished out three assists in an 86 – 83 win over the Chicago Bulls.
On Saturday, Waiters got his first NBA start in a 99 – 95 loss to the Washington Wizards. Against the Wizards, Waiters scored just four points, but the team played well while he was in the game.
Head coach Byron Scott said earlier in training camp that Waiters would have to earn his place in the starting line-up. Cavs fans should be pleased that Scott thought Waiters had done enough to get a start in a preseason game.
The Cavs are counting on big things from Waiters this season, and his big game on Friday and his start on Saturday hopefully are signs of things to come. The offense needs to be able to rely on him for scoring and his ability to get to the rim, and he needs to take some of the pressure off of Kyrie Irving.
Waiters can knock down jump shots, as he showed with his four for four three-point shooting on Friday, and he should be able to stretch out defenses with his long-range shooting. If he can do that and also push the ball up the court for fast break points, he can be a huge asset for the Wine and Gold.
The Cavs came under some criticism from national media members for taking a player who came off the bench in college with the No. 4 overall pick, but the team is trying to put the right parts in place around Irving, and Waiters is going to be given every chance to show he is one of the right parts.