The Cleveland Cavaliers have wrapped up their first two-preseason games and fans have been eagerly waiting to see how the Cavs two first-round picks will perform.
Dion Waiters was the game’s leading scorer with 12 points in the inner-squad Wine and Gold scrimmage. He showed some signs of greatness in the scrimmage, taking defenders off the dribble and finishing strong at the basket. He followed up his 12-point performance Monday night against Montepaschi Siena by scoring 11 points in just 15 minutes off the bench. Waiters did not see the court the entire first quarter, and when he finally did get on the court, he air balled his first shot attempt.
After reading Tyler Zellers rookie diary on NBA.com, my first impression of Tyler Zeller has been, “Wow, great guy.” He addressed the crowd before the Wine and Gold scrimmage, thanking them for being in attendance. He has impressed me more off the court than on the court, but his off-court achievements will not win games for the Cavaliers. Zeller did not have a strong performance in the first scrimmage, recording only two points and three rebounds. He bounced back Monday night when he logged 26 minutes and had seven points.
Head coach Byron Scott stuck to his game plan for the most part by getting each guy about 20 minutes of playing time.
The story line heading into Monday’s scrimmage was that Waiters was not in the starting lineup. By doing this he is not giving Waiters an easy path to being a shooting guard in the NBA. While they were on the same team in the Wine and Gold scrimmage, Irving and Waiters did not spend too much time on the court at the same time.
The four other rookies on the rosters – Kevin Jones, Michael Eric, Kevin Anderson and Justin Holiday – did not record any minutes in Monday nights scrimmage and had mediocre performances in the Wine and Gold scrimmage.
The Cavaliers two first-round draft picks have not given fans breath-taking performances thus far, but they have shown that this team has a high roof. Some may not like that our fourth overall pick, Dion Waiters, will not be in the starting roster. He played the sixth man role in college, so coming off the bench should help with his transition from NCAA to NBA.