Dion Waiters did not impress at Summer League in Las Vegas. The No. 4 pick of the Cavaliers seemed a step slow, and going against guys who were fighting for jobs in the league (or overseas) he looked sluggish. Not ideal for the guy you drafted as an athletic slashing wing.
More than one person thought Waiters looked a little doughy, and none other than Kyrie Irving told him to show up to camp in shape and ready to rock.
Waiters told the Syracuse Post-Standard that should not be a problem, he is ready to go now. And it was natural for him to be out of shape (via Eye on Basketball):
“It’s different for the NBA Draft, when you don’t have to do nothing. It was a couple weeks between the draft and summer league. I still wasn’t (in game shape). But now, you see me, there’s a big difference.”
Waiters shut down workouts for teams early when he got a promise from teams, and the strategy worked as he stayed hot and kept climbing all the way to No. 4.
But to stop working out for teams and to stop working out are two different things. The fact he was not ready to go for Summer League is a red checkmark against him.
It’s a relatively meaningless one — guys that have had great Summer League’s have looked lost once training camp opens, and guys with bad Summer League runs have had great rookie campaigns. We’re just saying it is something to watch.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.