In some respects, Dion Waiters had a fabulous rookie season for the Cleveland Cavaliers. But the team needs Waiters to have a super sophomore year in the NBA if they are to make as much noise as they figure they can with plenty of young talent.
Waiters keeps being overlooked by teams, which he probably doesn’t mind in a way. If they want to lay off him and focus on the others, Waiters will just do his thing. He’s as dangerous as any player on the Cleveland team in his guard position.
The key for him will be staying healthy and consistent. The Cavs want a player who is going to produce effectively at the shooting guard spot every night.
Last season, Waiters averaged 14.7 points, 2.4 rebounds and three assists per game. In making all-rookie first team honors, Waiters shot 41.2 percent from the floor, 31.0 percent in threes and 74.6 percent in free throws. He averaged 28.8 minutes per game.
Expect Waiters’ numbers in all categories to go up this season. The Cavs hope he can be better defensively this season and expect him to have a major impact from his shooting guard spot.
Cavs coach Mike Brown has especially been harping on Waiters to improve on his defense. That’s not just Waiters who has to improve, considering that the Cavaliers were 27th in the league last season in points per possession. Brown won’t hesitate to bench Waiters if he doesn’t improve his defense.
If the Cavaliers emerge as one of the NBA’s most improved teams this season, Waiters will be among the reasons why.