Over the last few days, Cleveland Cavaliers fans have seen a more demonstrative head coach Mike Brown out with the team over at the NBA Las Vegas Summer League. Yesterday, Brown shed some light on how he views second-year guard Dion Waiters.
“I’m viewing him strictly as a 2-guard,” Brown said to the Akron Beacon Journal’s Jason Lloyd.
In Lloyd’s article, he shares Brown’s point of view that he wants Waiters to focus on just being a guard. That includes “championship level basketball” on both ends of the court. Per Lloyd, the coach has been reviewing tape individually and emphasizing hustle plays with Waiters and fellow second-year player Tyler Zeller, who both are playing for the Vegas team.
According to Fear The Sword’s Conrad Kazcamarek, Brown was visibly pleased with how Waiters performed defensively in Thursday’s playoff victory over the San Antonio Spurs. In that game, Waiters scored 27 points with six rebounds, but Lloyd remarked how he seemed more aware and talked more defensively.
In college at Syracuse, Waiters came off the bench and played almost exclusively with the ball in his hands offensively. In his rookie season, then-head coach Byron Scott tried multiple times to have Waiters just play as a shooting guard, but he eventually relented to letting him control the ball in spurts, especially when All-Star Kyrie Irving was out of action.
With the free agent signing of combo guard Jarrett Jack, the Cavaliers have a much more proven option at the point guard position behind Irving this season. Jack is expected to play both guard positions, freeing up Waiters to spend more time as a shooting guard only. Last year, the only other potential point guards on roster were Shaun Livingston, Daniel Gibson, Jeremy Pargo, Donald Sloan and recently-released Chris Quinn.