Dion Waiters was known as a chucker in his days with the Cavaliers, and it’s one of the reasons he was traded following Cleveland’s slower-than-expected start to the season.
Now with Oklahoma City, not a lot has changed. Waiters is still hoisting plenty of shots — a little more than 15 per game over his last three, before playing limited minutes in a blowout win over the Magic. But the difference is how he’s being perceived with his new team, and the way he perceives the way he’s treated on the offensive end of the floor.
Waiters doesn’t hesitate to disclose the difference between his experience in Cleveland and Oklahoma City. After a 16-point performance Sunday at Orlando in which he made seven of nine shots, Waiters was asked what he’s learned so far about where his shots will come from and how he fit into the offense.
“Listen,” he said, “they give me the ball. Like, I touch the ball. Like, I actually, like, you know, touch the ball.”
It was the second time in less than a week that Waiters trumpeted the freedom the Thunder has given him.
Back to the whole perception thing, where what Waiters thinks is happening hasn’t statistically been shown to be the case.
Dion Waiters time of possession per 36 minutes on the floor.
w/ CLE: 2:42
w/ OKC: 2:15
What that means is that Waiters actually touched the ball more when he played for the Cavaliers.
The reality is that not much at all has changed for Waiters in his new situation, except for the way he may be feeling about it. Just as he called for the ball and was frozen out at times with the Cavaliers, he (somewhat hilariously) is experiencing the exact same thing with his new Thunder teammates.