David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
The Cleveland Cavaliers are going to need improvement from all of their young guns if they hope to secure a playoff berth for the first time since LeBron James departed for South Beach, and one of those key players is shooting guard Dion Waiters.
Although reports regarding a leaner, more fit Waiters are nice, it's all going to come down to his production on the court. And in that regard, Waiters hasn't failed to impress in the early going.
In 25 minutes of action against the Orlando Magic, Waiters dropped a game-high 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting, dished out three assists and racked up two steals.
That sort of scoring proficiency is encouraging, particularly after he rectified some of his pre-All-Star break struggles during his rookie campaign. A 45.8 percent shooter after last season's All-Star break (39.6 percent before), Waiters showed an improved touch, one that will need to consistently be on display throughout the upcoming campaign.
Mid-range jumpers will be especially key for the second-year man out of Syracuse. If Waiters can get his shooting average from 16 to 23 feet into the mid-40s (was at 40 percent last season, with the league average at 38.4), the Cavs offense should stand to benefit on the perimeter.