The Cleveland Cavaliers made a bold move in the 2012 NBA draft by selecting Dion Waiters fourth overall. He was initially called a reach and a wasted pick, as many thought the team could have traded down and still had the opportunity to draft him.
This might be the craziest draft I've covered so far. Waiters at 4? Wow. Next year half the lottery will be shut down with a promise in May.— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 28, 2012
However, when given the opportunity to draft your guy, it's rarely a bad idea to take him even if analysts think it's a reach.
I've also found that second-guessing teams' player decisions is usually not a good idea. There is typically a reason members of the media speak into a mic instead of the ears of coaches and general managers.
Through four games Waiters is averaging over 16 points per game, highlighted by his solid shooting performance on Monday night.
Dion Waiters is killing it. 28 on 10-16 FG, 7-11 3FG.— chris palmer (@ESPNChrisPalmer) November 6, 2012
While it is important to see him scoring, the Cavaliers also need to see him working well with his team, in particular forming a dynamic duo with Kyrie Irving.
He certainly succeeded in that area against the Clippers.
The young @cavs back court of Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving combine for 52 points and 11 assists propelling CLE to a 108-101 Win.— NBA (@NBA) November 6, 2012
So far, so good for Cleveland.
One big advantage of this duo is they can switch positions with each other. This allows them to secure better matchups and create mismatches for opposing defenses.
Cleveland can find the hot hand and feed it, although some nights that will require using both players extensively, and Monday was clearly one of those nights. To start off the third quarter, Waiters scored 12 of Cleveland's first 14 points.
Dion Waiters killing it - 3 straight 3 pts and a runner. He now leads everyone with 20 pts - 5-7 3pt FG, 7-11 overall. #AllForOne— Joe Gabriele (@CavsJoeG) November 6, 2012
Irving, who finished with 24 points and 10 assists, delivered the knockout blow with a three-pointer with 28 seconds left that gave the Cavs a six-point lead.
The talented backcourt twosome seemed to feed off each other. Cavs fans can look forward to many more games like this one over the course of their careers.