Report: Cavs to start Dion Waiters at shooting guard

With the Cleveland Cavaliers closing in on the start of the 2012-13 regular season, it appears that head coach Byron Scott has settled on his starting five.

Bob Finnan of the News-Herald reports1 that Scott has previously stated his desire to settle on a starting five-man unit as the preseason winded down. Judging by the last two games, whether he is ready to play big minutes at the NBA level or not, it looks like Scott has settled on rookie Dion Waiters as his starting shooting guard. CJ Miles (12.3 ppg), who started at the shooting guard spot earlier in the preseason, appears primed to start at small forward with Alonzo Gee and Omri Casspi providing depth.

Through the preseason Waiters, the fourth-overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft, is averaging 8.0 points and 2.2 assists and is shooting 36 percent from the field.

[Related: Could Dion Waiters fill the James Harden role?]

  1. I’d link to it if he hadn’t used Sulia to disseminate the story on Twitter []

  • JK

    Not sure that I agree.. Between his fitness issues & yanking him off the floor because of not being able to focus. Seems kinda scary to me.

  • Lyon25

    Valid argument. But I trust Scott on how to handle his players. I like Gee comin off the bench a lot.

  • jay

    His fitness issue seemsto be gone, and he didnt know 1 play. He’s a rookie…it happens.

  • mgbode

    I guess it’s a good sign that Scott trusts him

  • MrCleaveland

    “winded down”? I like it.

  • BenRM

    It isn’t as if Scott can’t change this if Dion isn’t playing up to snuff.

  • BrownsFanSF

    Absolutely! We know Coach Scott believes every player (rookies no less) have to earn a starting spot. He’d be playing Luke ‘Gody there if he felt like it gave us the best chance to win. It’s a great sign for what’s going on at all these scrimmages and practices we don’t see

  • mgbode

    i’m just worried that a 2nd unit with Gibson, Gee, Casspi, Samuels, and Zeller doesn’t have anyone that can create off the dribble.

  • BrownsFanSF

    Or really dribble in general…

    (I feel like he must be planing on staggering them and hoping Pargo, Sloan or Boobie can eat 5-7 min at the one. I agree with you that I don’t see any reason why either Kyrie, Dion or both would be on the floor at any given time)

  • mgbode

    i’m still hoping Sloan is a cut-casualty. Pargo for me, but he’s still just a 3rd string PG. hopefully, he is planning on the staggering you suggest.
    also, i’m a bit worried about our perimeter defense on our first unit with Irving, Waiters, and Miles all starting. I thought at least having Gee out there could slow some of the bleeding.

  • BrownsFanSF

    Another good point. With that starting 3, Andy is going to foul out in about 6 minutes. I think by the end of the year Dion won’t be a total disaster, but I am worried about Kyrie (even if he wasn’t trying AT ALL his defense needs to be better than it’s been in the preseason). We all know Miles is a disaster on that end of the floor.

    Byron has his work cut out for him. Start the 5 he is right now: Miles spreads the floor, Dion and Kyrie penetrate but we can’t guard anyone. Start Gee over Miles, we lose our outside shooting. Start Zeller over Andy, we lose our defensive anchor and tons of rebounding, but gain the midrange J.

    Hopefully we’ll look back on this and laugh in 2 years when Kyrie, Dion, Tristan and Zeller are complete players.

  • Parker

    Our depth in the post will be tested often as the perimeter defense is very soft right now which usually means foul trouble for bigs contesting dribble penetration. Hopefully the youth can develop a team defense mentality

  • porckchopexpress

    Just throwing this out there but I could see a sub pattern like this for Waiters/Irving. Both play 1st quarter, Waiters starts 2n on the bench, 2-3 minutes in Waiters subs for Irving, 2-3 minutes left in the half, both finish the half, then Waiters gets a little more break in the 3rd maybe take him out at the 7-8 minute mark, and then Irving joins him at the 10 minute mark, they both return about the 10 min mark of the fourth. Obviously thats not going to happen every night, but something similar keeps them both at 32-36 minutes, and only forces about 4 minutes of game time without either on the floor.

  • mgbode

    which is why you start Gee and Miles. keep the outside shooting and both units have a creator.
    unless he plans on going DDR on offense (Nuggets style) with the first unit and then just pure defense with the 2nd unit (can’t DDR with only 1 ballhandler even if he rotates Irving/Waiters sub minutes)
    it’ll be interesting and i agree hopefully we never even look back on these decisions as we’re too drunk with happiness of a championship

  • Bryan

    I interpret Finnan’s article as more of an “opinion” than a “report.” If you read it, Finnan is basically just guessing who will start based on what Scott has been doing in pre-season games. He doesn’t have any inside information directly from Scott or anyone else on the Cavs.

    I think we might still see Miles at SG and Gee at SF to start the season (with Dion playing minutes as both a backup to Irving and Miles). And if Waiters does start, I think Gee might start at SF so that Miles can come off the bench and gives offense to the second unit.