Much of the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ success will depend on how their back court performs early in the season.
The Cavs already have a superstar managing the offense in Kyrie Irving, a former All-Star in the middle in Andrew Bynum (although there are concerns about his health) and several solid role players in Anderson Varejao and Alonzo Gee just to name a few. Young players like Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller will be much improved after a whole season under their belts, and rookie Anthony Bennett could be a pleasant surprise if his game is able to translate to the professional level.
The big piece of this puzzle to be completed, however, is shooting guard Dion Waiters.
The second-year shooter had an up-and-down season where he was able to mix high scoring games with relatively quiet performances, something that can be expected from a rookie. He also struggled to remain healthy all year and his shooting percentages, especially from beyond the arc, left something to be desired.
But if he can turn it around this year, the Cavaliers will take the fast track towards respectability in the NBA once again. Waiters has been repeatedly compared to Dwyane Wade in terms of both the skill set and the make-up, and while saying that he might have the same career would be considered a stretch, if he can accomplish half of the things Wade has already done then Cleveland will have a more than serviceable shooter.
Dion Waiters needs to improve his percentages and get better handling the ball as he served as the primary backup to Irving last season. The arrival of Jarrett Jack will relieve some pressure off of him, but he still needs to be able to create his own shot opportunities while facilitating for others. If he can show improvement from what he did last season than the Cavs will have much more success this year.
And suddenly a lineup of Irving, Waiters, Bennett, Thompson and Bynum could even target for a playoff return as soon as this year.