If Kyrie Irving is Mr. Fourth Quarter for the Cleveland Cavaliers, then maybe C.J. Miles is Mr. First Quarter.
Miles, who came to the Cavaliers as a free agent in the off-season, struggled for most of November and part of December. He was not scoring much, his shooting percentage was very low and he turned the ball over way too much.
When starting guards Irving and Dion Waiters both got hurt, though, Miles got more playing time and began to produce.
Head Coach Byron Scott has now moved Miles to the starting lineup and pushed Waiters to the bench, and the move looks like it is paying dividends.
In both of his starts, Miles has come out on fire to start the game and has helped the Cavaliers jump out to a lead.
On Friday night, for example, the Cavaliers were playing a road game against the Charlotte Bobcats and needed to get off to a good start.
Miles proved to be key at the start of the game, as he scored 11 points on an efficient 4 for 6 shooting and helped the Cavaliers jump out to a 29-23 lead. He continued to play well for the rest of the night and finished with 18 points on 7 for 14 shooting.
Waiters, who at times was shooting the ball too much as a starter earlier in the season, scored 9 points on 3 for 6 shooting.
Irving led the team with 33 points and was spectacular in the fourth quarter, but the play of Miles and Waiters was also key to the Cavaliers picking up the win.
The win was just against the Bobcats, who are now 1-19 in their last 20 games, but it was still a win and the Cavaliers need every victory they can get.
Early in the season, I was just about ready to give up on Miles, but he has really turned things around in the last few weeks. It could be that he just needed time to adapt to the Cavaliers players and system, and he did not look very confident at times. Moving to the starting lineup seems to have helped with his confidence and aggressiveness, and it is helping Miles and the entire team play better.
Miles has been key to helping the Cavaliers start games off well, while Irving is helping the team close games effectively. If they can just find some players to step up consistently now in the second and third quarters, the Cavaliers have a chance to get much better.