August 26, 2014

Some Thoughts on Dion Waiters’ Improvement

waitersEveryone has different opinions when it comes to basketball. It’s funny, because it seems like basketball should be the easiest sport to objectively breakdown due to a lot of built-in factors with the sport1. But there are still massive disagreements all the time on whether players are good or not.

Of course, words like “good” and “bad” can and do mean different things to different people. So perhaps that’s why arguments break out over this stuff. Either way, in case you missed it or aren’t on Twitter and/or don’t follow CBS Sports’ Matt Moore (@HPbasketball), last night a huge debate broke out between Moore and Cavs fans over Dion Waiters.

Now, for those who don’t know, Matt Moore doesn’t like Dion Waiters. I ‘m not talking about Waiters the person, but Waiters the basketball player. Moore has been a very vocal critic of Waiters all season long, and he’s evidently tired of Cavs fans defending Waiters’ game.

I don’t mean that as an attack on Matt. I like and respect Matt a lot. But if you look at his Twitter timeline, that’s the truth. He doesn’t think much of Waiters and whenever Waiters has a good game, many Cavs fans call him out on Twitter about it, which can sometimes lead to Matt making sarcastic comments about Waiters and Cavs fans. 

So I feel the need to say a few things about this debate. I’m not doing this to go after Matt Moore, that’s not my intention. I’m doing this to defend Dion Waiters the basketball player. Not as a Cavs fan or a Waiters fan2, but as someone who believes that credit should be given where it is due.

So lets start with what happened on Twitter last night. I’ve compiled many of Moore’s tweets about Dion so you can read them for yourself:

Now I know Cleveland sports fans can be rabid and viciously go after those who say bad things about the city or its players. Yet I also don’t think it’s fair to intentionally incite fans with inflammatory statements that skew what the fans are trying to argue, and then play the victim card. I don’t think either side is fully innocent in any of this.

But I hate all this drama and people getting emotional about this stuff. It’s just basketball and everyone is entitled to their opinions. So with respect to that last part, I wanted to share some opinions on Dion Waiters and whether or not he is improving.

I think most people agree that Dion has been playing better lately. Moore even seems to acknowledge this fact, but writes it off as just a 13 day stretch and doesn’t feel it tells the whole story. I agree with that. 13 days is way too small to decipher anything. But lets compare his first month numbers with January and February (a slightly larger sample).

When it comes to Moore’s assertion that Dion’s shot selection is still horrible, there’s obviously more to it than just shot zone, but check out these numbers:

Month % of FGA at Rim eFG% at Rim 16-23 feet eFG% 16-23 3 pt eFG% FG% FT% 3P%
November 25.3% 42.2% 22.2% 38% 35.6% 54.4% 36.9% 77.3% 36.3%
January 34.8% 65.7% 27.7% 31% 20.7% 47.6% 42% 83.7% 31.8%
February 45% 71.9% 22.5% 56.3% 15.5% 13.7% 50.8% 70% 9.1%

 

This seems to me to be more than a 13 day trend. I think it’s pretty clear that Dion has been much better at not only going to the rim more, but he’s also making more of his shots at the rim. Every month in this chart he has taken a smaller percentage of his shots from three and a higher percentage at the rim. His eFG% at the rim has improved every month. His overall FG% has has gone up every month despite his 3P% going down. What does that tell me? It tells me he’s jacking up fewer contested threes and going into the lane and driving more. Not only that, but he’s getting much better at finishing at the rim as well.

Look, Dion Waiters has not been objectively ‘good’ this season. I don’t think anyone is arguing that, unless Matt is following very different Cavs fans on Twitter than I am. But we shouldn’t be surprised by Waiter’s struggles with consistency. We predicted it over and over again in our comments before the season and even during the season. SGs typically have the hardest time adjusting to the NBA.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Cavs fans being encouraged by the steps Dion has made toward improvement. Watching the Cavaliers play all season, there’s no doubt in my mind Dion is a much different player than the one we say the first month of the season when Dion was playing a lot of hero ball. At the time, his shots were going in, but they were mostly bad shots. As he came back down to the law of averages, his shot stopped going in and for a long stretch Dion looked lost and really struggled.

Then to start January, Byron Scott benched Dion and rather than sulk, Dion seemed to take it as a real learning opportunity. He refocused his game and started attacking the rim more often. His all around game started looking a little better off the bench. By the end of the month, he was back in the starting lineup and rather than reverting to his old style, he has continued the overall trend of improvement.

I don’t think any of us know how good Dion will or won’t be. He has a ton of work to do before he lives up to being picked #4 in the draft, but it’s just way too early to either call him or bust or to say he’s lived up to the pick. All we can really say is that it’s encouraging to see Dion playing better basketball and we hope it continues and gets even better in the future.

[Editor's Note: In discussing this with Matt via email, he made his case for why he feels the way he does and why he sent the tweets that he did. He wanted to be able to share his side with you guys, so here's what he had to say about it. Before I paste his comments, too, I just wanted to take a moment to reiterate what I said in the post. I respect Matt as an NBA writer a lot. He's been a friend to this site and he is often sticking up for small market teams. If you follow Matt on Twitter, you'll know that he watches a TON of basketball. He frequently can be found tweeting about Cavs games during the games, so I know he's been watching and even if I disagree with his assessment of "bad" in this particular case, his opinion still carries a lot of weight. What follows are Matt's comments about Dion, some Cavs fans, and Twitter in general:

I have 26k followers. I don't think that's a lot. I'm not proud of that figure. I have 183,000 tweets, which, God almighty, what have I done with my life, but regardless, if you tweet that much, you SHOULD have that many followers with any sort of national branding. But I do have them. Which means I get a lot of mentions. A LOT of mentions. And many of that are the worst parts of the internet who come calling.

I hated the pick at the time. I want Cleveland to succeed, to rebuild, because I love small market teams, and regardless of LeBron v. Cleveland, I want them to recover from something that sucked. Waiters largely got drafted because of a few workouts, and a strong half-showing at the combine. His resume was suspect. He was out of shape for summer league. Then he enters the league and starts chucking. Just chucking like mad. Kyrie's in, Kyrie's out, whatever, you can control your shot selection and it was poor. I didn't like his feel for the game, his shot selection, or his percentage.

The kid's probably very nice and there's no reason to think it's impossible he can improve. There's a good chance he winds up an OK role player. There's a very good chance he winds up a decent rotation guy. There's a small chance he's great, just if he defies all the information we've seen on him. I want him to succeed. I want every rookie to succeed. I don't root for anyone to fail, especially the kids.

But he's been bad. Really bad. Most of this started when I was doing some data for a piece I sometimes do on who has more shots than points. At one point Waiters was really high up there. I tweeted it. That started things. He's improved since then, though it's still not great obviously, seeing as he's still shooting 40 percent on the season. I talked to Byron Scott, and he talked about the biggest thing Waiters needed was to learn to work without the ball. And it's not that he can't do that, it's that I've seen SO MANY GUYS with Waiters' ball-dominant approach never really get over it. There are guys who have. Look at Ben Gordon, who was a .411 shooter his rookie season. But the shot selection, on top of everything else, concerns me.

Has he gotten better at getting to the rim? Absolutely! Why? Because he desperately needed to and Kyrie is spreading the floor! The problem? Eventually, what I call 'the book" is going to get out on him, which is when the scouts pass on strategies to limit a player. And that's going to cause a downslide,most likely. Not definitively, but likely. So an uptick is going to be countered with adjustments, and then we're back where we started. Maybe not though.

I actually wrote a little bit after I saw them in Denver about how I liked his game more and more. He was moving off-ball better, had better instincts, was aggressive without hurting the team. But it waivers, a lot, and honestly, those games where he gets hot and goes on a tear? They're bad for him because it teaches him bad habits. That Clippers game this season was the worst thing possible for him. That game gave him confidence, which is good, but in the wrong shots, which is bad.

So here's where we go back to the Twitter followers. What do you think happens when you have 26k followers, many of whom are Cleveland fans, and Dion Waiters has a good game? What do you think my mentions look like? I've bagged on Amir Johnson this year for being primarily a hustle player. (I've also listed him as a Sixth Man candidate, but whatever, let's ignore that for now.) When Amir Johnson has a good game or hits a gamewinner? My mentions detonate. And when Waiters has a good game, the same thing happens.

That's how this started.

I get "DION WAITERS SHOWING YOU WHAT'S UP." There weren't a ton last night, but there were a few. Do you know how irritating that is when you make your case based off watching a lot of Cavs basektball when you're not a fan? I try and be educated about the teams, and I watch a LOT of Cavs ball and actually like some of their team a lot. But you make assertions based on a season' worth of data, within the context of what you've seen from ALLLLL the other teams in the NBA not just Cleveland, and people come at you because he has one quality game (where he blows the final rotation and leaves Kawhi Leonard open for the one shot you absolutely cannot give the Spurs, but whatever, he's a rookie, those rotations are hard for veterans to learn)?

So I respond.

Did anyone suggest he was going to win ROY? No. (Though I will say I can remember three people tweeting at me that he would win it, just you wait, Moore. They're out there. Seriously.) That was trolling, as you said. Should I have reacted?

OF COURSE NOT. THIS IS THE INTERNET. IT'S SPELUNKING IN A SEWER. THE ONLY RESULT IS THAT EVERYONE IS COVERED IN POO.

But I do, and I did, and I'm not proud of it, but it is what it is. i won't get into why I got perturbed at various people because they made it about me, and not about Waiters or the argument, as you did in your analysis. But I try really hard to be open to criticism, to be open-minded about opinions, and to be fair. If Waiters plays like this for another month and a half? You're DAMN RIGHT I'll write about his improvement and include it in my weekly awards. He'll land on the ROY list if that happens.

But that's what happens. The worst of the internet comes out, then I turn into the worst of the internet, and then it's a spiral. Cavs fans are defensive and aggressive. Hilariously, my DM's filled up last night with Cavs writers saying "OH GOD I'M SO SORRY WE'RE NOT ALL LIKE THIS BUT SO MANY OF US ARE. I CAN'T SAY THIS PUBLICLY BECAUSE I FEAR FOR MY FAMILY'S SAFETY." Basically. (Not basically, it's an exaggeration for humor's effect.) But I mean, I fanned the flames. Do I wish it wasn't personal? Sure. Is it OK to let that get to me? NO. This is part of the gig. I get to write about basketball professionally instead of working in the dead-end office job I did for years and I take that privilege very seriously. It's why I work hard to actually watch and read blogs like WFNY and do research and talk to coaches and players as much as possible. I don't make this stuff up to get a reaction.

When I say Dion Waiters has been bad this season, I mean it. When I say he can improve, I mean it. And when I say I think they should have drafted Beal, regardless of relative statistical production this season, I mean it. (They would have had to trade up which they had an opportunity to do, but still.)

Is all this unnecessary OF COURSE. IT IS TWITTER. But it's also about discussion, and approaches to communication, and about knowing more about basketball. We all have to get a little better at it, including me.]

___________________________________________________

Footnotes:

  1. fewest number of players playing at one time, individual players making bigger impact on team, strong advanced stats, just to name a few… []
  2. in fact, I’ve been pretty hard on Dion myself and like Moore have faced some angry Cavs fans for my comments about Dion’s game []
  • JacobWFNY

    Unrelated to this whole debate: I got caught up on this line, Andrew.

    “It’s funny, because it seems like basketball should be the easiest sport to objectively breakdown due to a lot of built-in factors with the sport.”

    I disagree with that when it relates to baseball, specifically. So in my mind, it’s probably this in terms of ease of analysis: Baseball — Basketball — Hockey — Soccer — Football. And that’s all because of the number of people on the field/court at the same time and the level of 1-on-1 type playing.

  • Yup

    He is having a GOOD rookie season! What is so hard about that?

  • NeedsFoodBadly

    Your last paragraph nailed it. Guy is a rookie. Dumping on him for having gaps in his game during his rookie season is nuts. It can take guys a couple years to blossom in this league. Look at Paul George.

  • mgbode

    4 of the last 5 games he was fantastic. as i noted yesterday, the first 3 of those games were against bad teams, but it’s still good to see him taking advantage.

    much of last night, Waiters played like the best man on the court. it was probably his best game as a Cav this season.

  • Bryan

    My guess is that Moore doesn’t really watch the Cavs play all that much. Waiters shooting numbers have indeed been horrific. And, yes, they are thankfully improving since January.

    But what has been apparent all year (for those of us who watch him every night) is that he has ELITE ability to get to the rim. That is what makes him special, and why I think he will be one of the top 3 players from this class in a couple years. He is explosive. He is just young and has a lot to learn. I think he will learn what he needs, and show Chris Grant to be a wise man.

    More broadly, I don’t understand NBA bloggers who feel the need to have a “take” on young players after every game. In today’s NBA, most rookies are 19, 20, 21 years old. They are kids. It makes no sense to judge them until at least the end of their second year.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Bingo… somebody tell me the last 21 year old who had a huge impact for a championship-winning team. Go!

    As much as it sucks, you have to wait for young players to grow up in the NBA and you have to take a long view towards their potential years down the line in your team’s contention window (unless you’re the Lakers and you consistently manage to add star players in their prime… because you’re the Lakers).

  • mgbode

    Kobe Bryant

    (and you even mentioned the Lakers later. i’ll let this one pass because it’s valentine’s day and all)

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Dude, I was like 5 when that happened (or 19, whatever). That illustrates my point though… it was 13 years ago and it was Kobe, a transcendent player, and it was his 4th year in the pros.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Also, Happy Valentines Day

  • mgbode

    Kobe and Duncan (23yo for his first) have sort of had a stranglehold on those trophies in those 13 yrs too.

  • mgbode

    to you and yours as well. and double-check those chocolates to ensure no peanuts :)

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Ha… I stayed clear of that whole mess and just went with a big order of flowers to her work. It was a big hit. Now I’m trying to think of an idea of what I can make for dinner tonight… is Hamburger Helper considered romantic?

  • mgbode

    btw, Tony Parker was 20yo.

  • mgbode

    that’s about as “made from scratch” as I get, so yes.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Parker was awful in that series, but I will allow it.

  • mgbode

    yeah, he was a big part of what got them there even if it was ALL-Duncan once they were in the Finals.

  • Steve

    That’s a pretty ridiculous standard. We’ve seen a lot of talented guys at 21, and its pretty fair to say that Waiters is pretty far behind them. A .479 TS% (57th among 62 SGs) for a guy who is supposed to be a scorer just doesn’t cut it. And he’s not bringing anywhere near enough in the other aspects of the game to make up for it. No, he’s not proven a bust, and he does show flashes, but unless he’s got some magic up his sleeve, I don’t see how he gets to a position where he’s even a borderline all-star.

  • brian

    seems to me that matt moore is quite the child. as a national sports writer, you would think you could objectively look at something, make your point and move on. by getting defensive, it’s only hurting his credibility

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Steve… wow. He’s a rookie on a bad team. Does it really matter what his stats are for the first half of his rookie year? We can look at stats and crunch numbers all we want, but how he’s performed up to this point is entirely moot… what Bryan said about him having an elite skill in getting to the rim (whether he’s been able to convert up to this point or not) is something solid he can build on.

  • Steve

    Does his performance matter? Yes. Looking at appropriate statistics just help inform us on that performance. We don’t get to ignore the ones we don’t like.

    Sure, he’s got something he can build on. So can almost everyone who gets a shot at in the Association. But he’s got so much that he still needs to build up to be that important piece we’re looking for. We’re looking at a guy who scores about as efficiently as Sasha Pavlovic at that stage in his career. We have to consider and accept that, not just wash it away with our hopes.

  • Bryan

    I agree we shouldn’t color reality with false hopes. That is a fair point, especially in Cleveland.

    With Dion, I am optimistic because of three things: his elite ability to get to the rim, his improved shooting since January, and the fact that he is in a situation (with Grant, Scott, etc.) where he has time to grow. Like TT, he is going to get minutes and he is going to get coaching. He is talented enough that I am confident it will pay off. It already is starting to, and he is still in Year 1.

    I really think by the end of next year he will be clearly one of the top 3 guys from his draft class (with David and Lillard).

  • Steve

    Sure, I’ll remain optimistic too. We’ll see how he develops. The lack of defense on this team as we approach the end of year two under Byron concerns me that he’s the right guy going forward. Also, it seems like Waiters is best when he can get the ball in his hands and go do something. He doesn’t work well next to Irving yet, he just seems to wait his turn to get a chance with the ball. I’m not as confident in his future development as you.

    Unless Drummond’s back is that bad, Waiters isn’t catching him anytime soon. And while being the 4th (and still possibly 6th after MKG and Beal, who are 19 to Waiters’ 21, an important number) guy in the class isn’t bad in a vacuum, we need to get a dig deeper. We’re looking for that second star. Getting the 4th best guy in a draft that looks like it will have three stars isn’t particularly praiseworthy.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    Matt actually does watch a lot of Cavs games. He’s usually tweeting about the Cavs when they’re playing. His comments and tweets aren’t always inflammatory. I don’t totally agree with his take on Dion, I probably like Dion’s upside a little more than he does. This is just one of those things. Like I said, none of this was intended to be about Matt’s basketball knowledge, but more of just a defense of Dion’s improvement over the last couple months.

    I encourage everyone to read the edit I added to the end of the post from Matt. He explains his side of this in a lot more detail and I think it makes it easier to see where he’s coming from.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    I probably agree. I thought Dion was pretty good on both sides of the ball, until that last Spurs possession. And to Dion’s credit he took full responsibility for it, which I appreciate.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    He probably didn’t handle it the best or respond in the best way possible, but I don’t think he’s a child at all. I encourage everyone to read his comments that I added to the end of this post. He explains his side of things. Sometimes when you’re limited to 140 characters on Twitter, your responses are short and misinterpreted.

  • saggy

    wow- mad love for that dude. That’s a thoughtful and caring response. Wish all writers were like that.

  • timmycouch

    ughh my goodness this is ludicrous (not the detailed breakdown of Dions rookie year, andrew. that is insightful stuff). But all this constant talk about whether or not cavs draft picks not named kyrie irving will ever be good. I’m pretty sure I read on this site about a month ago the questioning if the cavs busted on their picks and basically have to start over. Then wouldn’t ya know it, halfway into his SECOND season at age 21 Tristan starts turning into a really solid pro. I am all for taking a close look at the progress of a young player and seeing what they do well or poorly, but let’s give it a rest on if a young 20-something year old on a terrible team is ever going to be “it”. This thing takes time.

    i mean, as we’re seeing right now, it took Lebron freaking James until he was 28 to fully start playing to his capability

  • Roosevelt

    Great dialogue. It’s stuff like this that make participating in the sports blogging world fun, and that make WFNY such a great site.

  • timmycouch

    in response to matt moore, obviously the guy is knowledgeable about hoops and everyone is entitled to their opinion. One thing I don’t think people always remember is that when you write about a topic all the time, you’re bound to have opinions some others won’t agree with, just the nature of the beast.

    My problem is it seems like he made up his mind about Dion a long long time ago and nothing is going to change his mind. This really stuck out to me when he stated him being out of shape for summer league but made no mention that once the season came around Waiters was in good shape and ready to roll. Also, all signs point to dion being very coachable.

  • Roosevelt

    I totally disagree with you. Tristan has shown incredible improvement over the last month in that he went from being a defense and hustle guy to a budding offensive threat. If he continues to improve at this rate across another season and a half, he’ll be a perennial all-star. But even what Tristan’s done so far is rare – almost no one develops new skills like that once they’re in the NBA. Waiters might develop into a consistent shooter who is good at moving without the ball, but it’s just not particularly likely. So basically, unless Thompson continues what has already been a remarkable improvement and/or Waiters joins him as that rare guy who develops a game while in the NBA, we have two role players chosen with two #4 picks. Not a reason for confidence.

  • Roosevelt

    Dion is still not in great shape. He’s just a bit thinner than he was in training camp. I will grant you that the adjustments he’s made make him seem very coachable.

  • timmycouch

    They knew exactly how raw Tristan was when they drafted him. It’s part of the reason they’ve made no attempt at winning yet. if youre drafting a 19-20 year old and they already have a skill set down (see: Kyrie) they better be one of the best damn players in college hoops.

    im just not exactly sure what people are looking for out of a 21 year old after his first half of hoops in the league in which he is averaging 14-3 on a TERRIBLE TEAM…we didn’t even go into the season with a backup pg who wasn’t destined to join the d-league. His decisions are bad at times but I’m more than willing to live with that in a season were tanking regardless.

  • mgbode

    yes, definitely appreciate him owning up to it.

    the end of each half ended up costing the Cavs with 2 really poor decisions (the foul on Green and Dion leaving Kawhi alone in the corner while down 2).

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I’m not going to get into another epic debate, so I’ll just say that I disagree. The numbers are disappointing, but personally I don’t think they predict his future potential in any way.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    Which is, essentially, the theme of this year’s Cavs team. It’s rather bizarre how atrocious they are in closing out quarters and halves. Unless Kyrie is in God Mode in the 4th quarter, things really fall apart fast.

  • http://twitter.com/GreatestHurley Jason Hurley

    Coaching, coaching, coaching….

  • mgbode

    and it is almost always players trying to do too much. both cases last night were of that ilk.

    TT just lets Green shoot while standing in his way and the odds go way down on the Spurs getting points.

    Waiters just sits in the corner on his man and we at least have OT.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I disagree slightly in that I think that many players DO tend to add new things to their game in the NBA, but it usually takes several years. Serge Ibaka added a jump shot, Jason Kidd added the three point shot (so did Jordan), Varejao saw a significant jump in his offensive rebounding rate just over the past two years (granted sample sizes are smaller due to injury). I guess my point is that it does tend to happen, but it tends to happen typically later in the player’s career.

  • mgbode

    interesting question, which rookies might turn to stars. here are my thoughts:

    Lillard? he shot out like a rocket but has come crashing down to Earth a little lately. i never really saw “star” out of him either. he’s a very useful PG, which is important in today’s NBA. better rookie season than Waiters, but not necessarily a future star.

    Anthony Davis? even with his injuries and everything else, he screams future star. yes. great numbers across the board, great effort, and good help defense (not individual or team defense, but he’s a rookie – that should come)

    Bradley Beal – way too small of a sample size, but if he continues to shoot 50% from 3pt land (as he has in 2013 – 18games and 4 attempts per game), then he might be that star. He has excelled since playing with John Wall on offense too.

    Andre Drummond – setting aside his injury for the moment. he sure could become a star. playing limited minutes and against backups mostly so far, but his numbers (rbs, fg%, blks) have been off the charts.

    MKG – he’s basically a young Gerald Wallace. that still seems a fair projection for him until he actually develops a jumpshot (which he might not). whether or not that is a star is borderline.

    Harrison Barnes – quietly putting up solid numbers. He doesn’t “seem” like a star, but he’s so fundamentally solid that he should have a nice long decent career. probably not a “star” though that could change if he gets a bigger role.

    Waiters – so, where does Waiters fit in above? I don’t know. it’s tough projecting which guys will make the leap and which will not. and, SGs have traditionally struggled their first year in the NBA more than any other position. but, there isn’t a guy NOT on this list that I would even consider over Waiters (and there were others I liked better going into the draft last year).

  • mgbode

    Andy also added becoming a great PnR partner.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Before I say that I completely disagree with Matt here, I’d like to point out that I think he’s an excellent writer and I enjoy reading his work. I find that very often I have the same opinion as him. Actually, I used to follow him on Twitter but I found that he sent so many tweets that he dominated my feed most nights, so now I just let other people on my feed retweet his best comments so I don’t miss them :) At any rate, I disagree that the book will get out on Waiters and coaches will start defending him differently. They already know how to defend him. They’d be more than happy to let him jack up long-distance jumpers all night and defenders are sagging back to defend the drive leaving the jumpers open. But lately Waiters hasn’t been biting on those open jumpers early in the shot clock. He’s driving to the basket even when the defense knows that’s what they need to stop. I’m probably going to catch some static from a couple commenters for saying this, but I think that Waiters has an elite ability to get to the rim and he’s getting there in spite of defenses trying to stop him from doing so. That’s why Chris Grant drafted him… if you’re going to be a star in the NBA, you have to do at least one thing at an elite level and I think that’s the skill that Grant projected could make Dion a star. So Matt was right, for most of the season Dion was struggling because he was relying on his jump shot too much, but I agree with Andrew that we’re already starting to see Dion utilize his best tool more often, and that’s been happening for several weeks now.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    You could be right, but personally I think his thickness is great as long as it’s not affecting his conditioning or defense (and it might be, I’m not sure). The bulk makes him harder to stop as he goes to the basket.

  • BenRM

    What I feel we all (and Moore by extension) are missing is where Waiters is playing compared to all rookies this season.

    Most rookies playing better than him were *gasp* drafted above him (with the exception of Lilliard who for obvious reasons wasn’t going to be drafted by the Cavs). Nicholson has been playing well as of late, and Drummond looks like he might be the real deal. But Waiters is right in that mix with Barnes, Beal, and MKG.

    In a year or two, we might find ourselves saying, “crap, Drummond really should have been the guy we drafted. He’s going to be a star.” But a ton of other people passed on Drummond as well, and they will be telling themselves the same thing.

    It wasn’t a draft filled with “can’t miss talent” and the Cavs went crazy and drafted Darko Milicic. It was “Anthony Davis and Everybody else.” In that situation, the Cavs went after a SG who has a unique size and ability to get to the rim instead of someone like Beal or Barnes.

  • BenRM

    I absolutely agree. With such a good response, you can’t really attack the guy. Although, being a troll on twitter is never very cool.

  • mgbode

    and he summed up why journalists should post stuff to twitter, but should mostly not respond to replies on twitter (and why I avoid the thing).

    let’s extract in his own words:

    “Do you know how irritating that is”
    “So I respond”
    “Should I have reacted? OF COURSE NOT.”
    “But I do, and I did, and I’m not proud of it, but it is what it is”