And it worked.
Waiters began the season as the Cavaliers’ starting shooting guard.
But Cleveland has gone just 1-2, a disappointing start for a team with a legitimate chance at a championship. The Cavaliers starting lineup had been outscored by seven points in 42 minute, its offense really struggling.
So, David Blatt is making a change.
Shawn Marion started over Waiters in Utah tonight.
That lineup – Irving, Marion, LeBron, Love and Anderson Varejao – is pretty oversized. It will also probably work better than with Waiters starting, but there’s a real risk a speed disadvantage burns Cleveland.
But there will be benefits. Beyond a good team regressing up to the mean, Marion’s defensive versatility and ability to do the little things offensively will help him mesh with the Cavaliers’ stars.
For Waiters, he’ll get more opportunities with the ball while playing with reserves. That’s his game. Trying to complement three stars just doesn’t suit his skill set, and he probably should have been coming off the bench all along.
I’m not sure Marion – rather than Mike Miller or Matthew Dellavedova or Joe Harris – is the right answer at guard, but he’s a change on a team that needed one sooner than most expected.