Posts Tagged ‘dion waiters’

We’re Coming for You, Shabazz

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

I miss this.

PHOENIX 91, CLEVELAND 78

Well, if we can take one  positive out of tonight, it’s that Anderson Varejao is amazing. That’s about it. Every other Cavs player mixed whatever good they did with a healthy helping of bad. A few were perhaps quasi-effective, but the individual performances tonight did not add up to a winning team performance. Not even close, in fact. This Cavs-Suns tilt was ugly on both ends of the floor, and it hurts my brain to even attempt to attempt at establishing a narrative for the game other than “Wow, the Cavs without Kyrie suck a little more than the Suns.” As such, I’ll go ahead and talk about the game by way of bullet point.

- Tristan Thomspon wasn’t impressive. Marcin Gortat and Luis Scola are a solid post duo, but they looked like Sampson and Olajuwon when defending Tristan down low. He has no offensive repertoire to speak of. Tigger shot 1-7 from the field for 5 points, and had no blocks or steals. However, I’d like to point out that he shot 3-4 from the free throw line. That’s not bad at all.

- Alonzo Gee was solid. He played some good defense, though that sort of thing is hard to quantify against the Suns, especially in a game like tonight’s- either they were scoring every time down the floor on an array of difficult shots, or they were missing an unconscionable amount of layups and corner threes. But we got the kind of ball we’ve come to both expect and treasure from Alonzo: 3-7 from the field for 12 points, a killer dunk, and a few steals and assists to go along with his constant flight around the floor. All NBA D-League players should take notes from Alonzo on how to make the NBA. The main thing is to play harder than anyone else on the floor.

- Jeremy Pargo played like Donald Sloan. 3-12 for 8 points. 5 points, 5 turnovers. Against Goran Dragic, who isn’t exactly a lock-down defender. He also had 5 fouls, playing the point guard position. How is that even possible? Let’s just move on.

-  C.J. Miles straight-up dominated a 35-second stretch of this game, dropping six straight points. Unfortunately, it was the last 35 seconds of the game, and he sucked for the rest of the game. He missed a bunch of jumpers, and didn’t do anything else particularly well. It’s hard to believe that Byron Scott continues to play him over Omri Casspi, who looked at least mildly effective in 13 minutes and hit a couple of shots.

- Anderson Varejao is a monster, 20 points, 18 boards. The fifth straight 15+ rebound game in a row for Andy. He was  on fire in the 3rd quarter, when he hit a flurry of mid-range jumpers on his way to 14 in the quarter. Without Wild Thing, the Cavs would have lost this game by 30. At the beginning of the season, I was all for trading Andy. But he’s played himself out of trade talks. There’s nothing of equal value that we could get in return.

-Dion Waiters actually had a decent game, despite another mediocre shooting night (7-20 from the field). He dished out 7 assists, and some of them were beauties. His play-making ability seemed almost Harden-esque at times, as he put the ball on the floor and whipped cross-court passes with ease. When Dion learns how to finish at the rim and hit his jumper regularly, he’ll be a real star in this league.

- Pretty much everyone else on the team sucked. I would love to blame this loss on Luke Walton, but he didn’t play. It was weird to see Tyler Zeller playing for the Suns. Or was that his brother, Luke? I couldn’t tell. Tough loss. Goodnight, folks.

Refs Not Seeing Dion?

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Dion Waiters hasn’t been getting many calls this year, or so he thinks. The rookie believes that the referees have missed some calls when he feels there was a foul, the Plain Dealer reports. Byron Scott isn’t necessarily supportive of his rookie’s whining, though. He said, actually, “I take that with a grain of salt.” Now, there have been several no-calls on shot attempts by Dion, or so it seems. But while one always wants a coach to stand up for his players, there’s inherent wisdom in Byron Scott not fully agreeing with Waiters. He’s a rookie, and the NBA is a meritocracy. You start to get calls when you start to achieve. Whether or not that’s a fair system, that’s how it is, and Dion should get used to it, and not allow it to affect his game. If anyone is interested, his statistics, including free throws per game, are here:

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/w/waitedi01.html

Byron’s Problems: Edition #1

Friday, November 9th, 2012

This year’s Cavaliers average 22.7 years of age. The oldest player on the roster is Anderson Varejao, and he’s only 30. Admittedly, Luke Walton is 32, but I’m doing my best to pretend he isn’t on this team. Regardless, the Cavs are a young team. Young teams make mistakes. Enter Byron Scott. Occupation: coach. Favorite mode of communication: yelling. Byron Scott is not known for going easy on his players, and he’s going to have plenty to get angry about this year. Just five games in, Coach Scott has seen it all: bad inbounds defense that leads to a game-winner, myriad turnovers, and Tristan Thompson’s insatiable desire to block mid-range jumpers, to name a few. In honor and respect of Byron’s ability to mold this young squad to his will, we’ll be highlighting the most debilitating issue this team faces semi-weekly, and speculating on what Coach will do about it.

Through five games, the Cavs’ biggest problem has been free throws. As a team, they’re shooting 61. 2 percent (74-of-121). That’s last in the NBA. Unsurprisingly, the main contributor to this debauchery of basketball fundamentals is the much-maligned Tristan Thompson, who’s hit on exactly 50 percent of his free throws this year. (The positive outlook on this: Shaq never hit his free throws either! The negative: Tristan doesn’t do anything effectively other than rebound on offense, and hasn’t improved from last year.) But to be fair, this is to be expected from Tristan. More alarmingly, Dion Waiters has hit only 6-11 free throws so far. As a player with a reputation as a shooter, that isn’t good enough, especially for someone who figures to be on the floor at the end of close games quite often. Even Kyrie Irving, the Anointed Son, is only hitting on 78 percent of his free throws so far. The average free throw percentage in the NBA usually hovers around 75 percent. If the Cavs had hit on 75 percent of their free throws this year, 16 more points would have been scored. That’s 16 points left on the table.

It’s safe to assume that approximately 10,000 free throws will be attempted in practice this week. Allen Iverson’s emotions on the subject notwithstanding (yes, I’m aware that reference is about three years past its expiration date), Coach Scott knows practice makes perfect. There isn’t much else to do, anyways, when it comes to free throws. As opposed to defensive rotations or the pick-and-roll, repetition is really the only path to improvement. Let’s hope things pick up. In the meantime, it makes me smile to imagine Dion Waiters shooting free throw after free throw while Byron stands and screams in his ear about FIFTY FOUR PERCENT. Practice is supposed to make perfect, but let’s just hope practice makes three of four.

(Stats from:

http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2012/11/cleveland_cavaliers_free-throw.html)

Kyrie and Dion Looking Good

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Dion's looking slim!

Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving lit up the Clippers last night, and Kevin Arnovitz was watching. The Truehoop maestro wrote an article about the Cavs’ backcourt that should make any Cleveland fan smile. He floats the idea that what many people saw as a potential mistake- drafting two combo guards- could turn out to be a huge advantage for Cleveland. Here’s the link.

NBA.com Previews the Cavs

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

The classic look of disapproval from Coach Scott.

A pretty good Cavs season preview from NBA.com, even though the real gem in my mind is the video clip that accompanies the article, which has Reggie Miller previewing the season. He thinks the Cavs should play up-tempo offense and trap on D, and he thinks that Zeller and Waiters are great fits for that type of team. Here’s the link.

Sporting News on the Cavs

Friday, October 12th, 2012

You just got served... by Waiters

The Sporting News previewed the Cavs upcoming season on Thursday. I have to agree with the article’s central point: the season hinges on Dion Waiters and what he can bring to the team. Everyone’s heard plenty about Dion, though. How about some Tristan Thompson? From 3 to 9 feet, Tristan shot 31.7 percent. That’s nearly unheard of for a power forward. Here’s the link.

Waivers and Waiters Abound

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Remember when these guys were important to the Cavs?

The Cavaliers waived Kevin Anderson and Justin Holiday today, in a less-than-shocking personnel move. There are now three spots left. Samardo Samuels seems to have all but locked up one of the spots, so we’ll see how the other two fall out. Here\’s the link. 

Another game recap from last night’s debacle againsst Milwaukee, this time from the Plain Dealer. Byron Scott on benching Dion Waiters:  ”I took him out in the second half because I drew up a play, guard ran the play, he messed it up. To me that was a lack of focus so I figured he didn’t need to play the rest of the game.” Classic. Here’s the link.

Wine v. Gold Scrimmage

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

Dion to the hoop!

The Cavaliers played an intra-squad scrimmage Saturday, pitting Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson, Jeremy Pargo, Omri Casspi and C.J. Miles on the Gold team against Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Tyler Zeller, Alonzo Gee and Jon Leuer on the Wine team. The Gold team won 52-44, despite a combined 25 points on 9-22 shooting from Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. What does this mean? Absolutely nothing. But it’s nice to see the young guns going at it in practice. Here’s the link.

The Dynamic Duo

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

A decent on the Cavs’ young backcourt and the upcoming season. But the real treat is the interview of Byron Scott at the end. This is a coach to be proud of. Here’s the link.

Dion (<3) Waiters is Interviewed

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

Splendid in orange cream.

In an interview with Hoopsworld today, Dion Waiters said that he wants to make the playoffs and win Rookie of the Year. He also said some things about Cleveland that are guaranteed to warm the cockles of your heart, and possibly bring tears to your eyes.  In short, this guy is awesome. Here’s the link.