Dion Waiters had a huge game for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday and looks like he is starting to come into his own.
Waiters has had an up and down rookie campaign, but overall he has looked pretty good. The 6-4 rookie guard out of Syracuse is averaging 14.8 points and 3.2 assists per game this season. On some nights, he has been a spark plug and has helped the Cavaliers greatly with his outside shooting and driving.
On other nights, though, he has hurt the team by taking too many bad shots and turning the ball over too often on his way to the rim.
Head Coach Byron Scott moved Waiters out of the starting lineup recently and replaced him with guard C.J. Miles, and the move seems to have paid off for Waiters, even if he didn’t like it.
Waiters came off the bench at Syracuse, too, and right now he seems like he fits well into this role. One huge plus for the team is that Waiters has brought more offensive firepower to the Cavaliers second unit. And while he is not starting, he is still getting a lot of minutes each night. He is also apparently learning more about taking good shots and taking care of the ball.
In Monday night’s loss to the Sacramento Kings, Waiters scored a career high 33 points while shooting 12 for 18 from the field. He also handed out 5 assists.
“I thought he played great,” Scott said about Waiters. “He made some great decisions offensively, didn’t turn the ball over. He did some real good things offensively. He did some good things defensively. Had a couple of breakdowns on the defensive end, but other than that I thought he played well.”
In the second half, the Cavaliers played better when Waiters was in the game and had the ball. Irving did not have a great game, and it was nice to see Waiters step up and lead the team in scoring. He has a nice jump shot, and it looks like he is simply playing a much smarter brand of basketball.
This is the type of player that Waiters can be for the Cavaliers. He is not going to score 33 points every night, but if he plays under control and takes good shots, he can have plenty more big nights like he did on Monday.
Waiters is no star yet, and he may not even be a starter, but he is playing much better and looks like he is going to be a pretty good player for years to come.