Dion Waiters Pulled from Preseason Game due to “Lack of Focus”

Amidst the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 97-80 preseason loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, rookie guard Dion Waiters was pulled for most of the second half due to what head coach Byron Scott dubbed as a lack of focus.

“He struggled offensively big-time,” Scott said of 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.”

Waiters finished the game shooting 1-for-7, coming off of the bench behind the recently signed CJ Miles who led the team with 18 points. The Cavs made just 30 of 78 shots (38.5 percent) and committed 22 turnovers, four of which were committed by Waiters. Scott went on to blame some of the rookie’s struggles on the various lineups being employed during within the preseason setting.

“It’s going to be a day-to-day process for us,” Kyrie Irving said of the struggling offense. “We definitely have to find some continuity.”

[Related: 2012-13 Cleveland Cavaliers Preview]

  • Sixth City Fan

    Like the quote by coach saying “I figured he didn’t need to play the rest of the game.” Not a fan our #4 pick isn’t focusing. Hoping it gets worked out during the preseason.

  • http://twitter.com/bbo13 B-bo

    But his conditioning is no longer an issue, so he’s got that going for him. Which is nice.

  • http://twitter.com/ClevelandBob Bob O’Brien

    Give him time. It may take half a season or a year, but he’ll get there. The last thing we need now is a fan base piling on our #4 pick prematurely. He’s a rookie and he’s not Kyrie Irving or LeBron James. People need to remember that.

  • Harv 21

    Good, looks like the rubber already meeting the road in early preseason. Hard-headed coach confronts hard-headed kid who maybe still carries the entitlement of being a surprise 4th overall pick. Something about Waiters’s attitude and body type keep reminding me of a young Baron Davis. Get the feeling he might turn out to be a charismatic big-time player or a royal pain, a coach’s love him/hate him.

    Sit on his head while he’s still malleable, Byron. Easier at this stage than in another couple of years.

  • Jack


  • Vindictive_Pat


  • Jack


  • Dave

    Another way of putting this: Scott to Waiters – “Don’t get cocky, kid. I’m your boss, and you will take my games seriously or pay for it.”

  • Mongoose

    How many division 1 schools are there, each starting their 5 best players? With the 4th overall pick the Cavs draft a player who never started a game???

    Mind boggling!

  • mgbode

    don’t forget J.Lamb and T.Ross. Those 4 guys all graded out pretty close to one another. Will be interesting to see which FO got that decision “most correct”

  • deesh

    I’m not crazy about the pick, but look at Manu & Harden. They come off the bench for a reason, not because whoever is starting over them is necessarily the better player.


    Watch any of Syracuse’s games from last year. Crunch time – 4th quarter, not only was Dion playing, he was the one who the team wanted the ball to go to.

  • Clown Baby

    “Waiters finished the game shooting 1-for-7..”

    As long as he didn’t Usain Bolt after his one and only FG then I”d say we’re off to a good start.

  • MrCleaveland

    This gets more ominous by the month. First you use a high pick on an inexperienced hotshot with an inflated ego without ever working him out or even meeting him.

    Then he shows up for summer school fat.

    Now two games into the preseason he’s dogging it.

    Lack of focus isn’t some rookie mistake like not knowing when to switch off or something. Lack of focus is a symptom of “Don’t tell me what to do, Coach. I got mine, and that’s all I care about.”

    If this nonsense doesn’t stop, Chris Grant deserves to lose his job.

  • Big Z

    We all knew where this was headed the minute he was drafted…

  • BenRM

    Well, I’ve heard more encouraging news….

  • Brendon

    I was at the game last night, close to the Cavs bench, and Scott was constantly yelling at Waiters where to go, since he was always out of place. I hoped to see something from him last night, but saw nothing.

  • Gren

    That’s right baby! Playoffs!

  • Garry_Owen

    On an unrelated note, I think I’ll leave work early today. For the same reason.

  • Harv 21

    No idea how this will turn out but on draft day thought Grant really hitched his professional future here to that high risk/high reward pick. Pretty breathtaking leap of faith to do that without working the guy out. It’s almost (but not quite) the equivalent of if Heckert had decided to give up next year’s first round pick to make sure he outbid another team for Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft. Good or bad, Grant’s married to him now.

  • BrownsFanSF

    If there is any coach in the NBA we can count on to do that, it’s Byron

  • BrownsFanSF

    Agreed, but any assessment is going to have to wait 2-3 years

  • mgbode

    any full assessment will for sure. but we can get little snippets in the meantime (including which player was put in the best scheme to utilize their skills).

    fun mention that each has a pretty good offensive PG paired with them:

    Irving & Waiters
    Curry & Barnes
    Lowry & Ross
    Lin & J.Lamb (Rockets are going to be epically bad against big backcourts)

  • Guest

    Jonas V and Damian Lillard could be in that discussion too

  • zonk

    You are right, Dion played a ton of 4th quarters at Syracuse

  • Pat Shurmur

    This looks like a guy that can play football. We’re starting him at Wide Receiver on Sunday.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Mike100Proof Prime Minister

    what you mean he played a ton 4th QTRs like there was some he didnt. IF he didnt play a 4th QTR its because he wasnt needed due to a blow out. when teh 4th QTRs mattered, he was the man out there leading the way.

    people need to get over the 6th man argument. its null and void.

  • BostonBuckeye

    Could have had Sullinger – he is starting for the Cetics now – what waste of #4 pick

  • mgbode

    this is going to shock you. sit down.

    Anthony Davis did not play in the 4th quarter last year. Nor did Thomas Robinson or MKG or Bradley Beal. None of them played a single 4th quarter during their last collegiate basketball season.

  • mgbode

    there were 16picks between Waiters and Sullinger but Jared is the one you are going to go with here? really?

  • mgbode

    Jonas V was a 2011 selection though. I suppose we could include Lillard except that each of these teams already had a PG (or were soon to get one in FA).

  • otie

    Big mistake wasting a draft pick that high on him some opne should have their butt kid for that move!!!!

  • Michael Long

    Hahaha cause college dont have quarters they have halfs good one

  • eric grohoske

    Lack of focus, I haven’t heard that since Rickey Henderson was benched for being mentally unavailable, glad to see our pick was worthy of his position in the draft, I though it was a stretch when we picked him up, now maybe stretch was not a strong enough word. The Cleveland Cavaliers, my team, rebuilding since 1970