The Cleveland Cavaliers’ key free agent signing this offseason, C.J. Miles, has been less than spectacular thus far this season. But on a night when Kyrie Irving returned, Byron Scott gave Miles the start at shooting guard, reassuring his confidence in him.
Miles answered big time with a 28-point performance.
This is the player Chris Grant signed in the off-season, this is the guy Coach Scott convinced to come here and this is the guy who fans thought would be a scoring threat other than Irving and Waiters. This is the guy we have, unfortunately, he just happened to show up 22 games into the season. Damn.
Waiters continues to be sidelined with an ankle injury and with Irving’s return, Miles got his first opportunity in the starting lineup this season against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Cavs seem like they are in no rush to bring Waiters back and said they will bring him back when he is 110 percent.
So it appears Miles will continue to start in place of Waiters, but when he finally does come back, where does he fit in? Before his injury, he was having a pretty decent year and his numbers got better with Irving out. If Miles continues to put up these great numbers, Waiters may find himself coming off the bench when he returns, which might not be the worse thing.
Coming into this season, Miles was supposed to be a player we could rely on to score and we haven’t gotten that. It has taken him so long to get going that we never viewed him as a scorer. But all it took was a chance in the starting lineup for Miles to turn it on, and if he continues to put up these efficient numbers, he is going to stay in the starting lineup. Quite frankly, Irving and Miles looked good in the same backcourt together.
Waiters has experience at Syracuse coming off the bench, but it is something you typically don’t want a rookie top-five pick to take on. But Coach Scott has to be concerned if he puts Miles back on the bench; he will fall back into his slump he has been in all year.
So to put one in the starting lineup and have the other coming off the bench would really be a case of addition by subtraction. Coach Scott will have to decide what’s best for his team and how he would get the most out of his players. Expect Coach Scott to play his guys for the future.