Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 10/11/12
Anyone wishing for drama involving rookie guard Dion Waiters and the Cavaliers is out of luck. But if youre hoping Cavs coach Byron Scott stays on top of his prized rookie guard, well, youll probably enjoy the 2012-13 season. I have a unique connection with Dion because I played that position, Scott told Cleveland reporters, referring to his days as Magic Johnsons backcourt-mate with the Showtime L.A. Lakers of the 1980s. So Scott knows shooting guard. He won three NBA titles in that role. He also knows coaching, having been a head coach in the league for 12 years, including the previous two with the Cavs. Meanwhile, Waiters is entering his first season after two years of coming off the bench at Syracuse. The Cavs made him the No. 4 overall pick in the draft. Its safe to say Waiters doesnt know the NBA like his coach. In the Cavs previous preseason game, a 97-80 loss to Milwaukee, Scott proved it. In that game, Scott gave Waiters the hook for failing to run a play that Scott diagrammed during a timeout. Then Scott scolded Waiters in the press. Heres the good news: Waiters gets it. I definitely needed that, he said. I gotta be more focused on the game. During the timeouts, if (Scott) draws up a play, I have to be able to execute it. Thats something I learned, and I take full blame for that. Waiters will get another chance Friday, when the Cavs play preseason game No. 3, vs. Chicago in Champaign, Ill. Against Milwaukee, the play in question called for Waiters to cut to the basket. He stood instead. If it happens again, you can count on Scott to again remind him, and likely in a similar fashion. I told him the reason Im going to be hard on him is because I played that position, and I see greatness in him, Scott said. Hes a rookie, hes young. Like Ive said, hes come a long way in a lot of different departments. Im going to stay on him, because I believe in him. For the most part, Waiters has looked like a rookie during training camp and the preseason. He gave a nice showing and made some big plays to seal a win Monday against Italian club Montepaschi Siena. Then he shot 1-for-7 and scored two points the next night. If hes like the majority of NBA rookies, its the type of joy ride thats may continue into the regular season. Waiters knows it, too. In this league, you have one bad game or things dont go your way, you have another game the next night, Waiters said. So you automatically forget about it. Waiters has been coming off the bench behind C.J. Miles, a veteran of seven NBA seasons. Its not ideal (every player wants to start), but it is somewhat expected. You gotta earn it; nothing is a given, Waiters said. Its up in the air. You have to go out there and take it. Dont ever get too low, dont ever get too high. Just learn how to stay in between. He also seems to understand that hes being guided by a man whos been there before in Scott. He won championships, Waiters said. I got everything around that I need to make me better. Im learning every day. Scott said he has seen progress. But at the moment, thats as far as Scott is willing to go. (Waiters) wants to have a chance to earn that position, Scott said. And like I told him, Yeah, youre gonna have to earn it. NOTES The Cavs have already arrived in Champaign, and tip off against the Bulls at 8 p.m. Friday. The game will be televised by CSN Chicago (DirecTV, Ch. 665), but not locally. The Bulls are without point guard and former NBA MVP Derrick Rose, who blew out his knee in the first game of the playoffs last season. Rose isnt expected back before January. Some recent reports suggested he could miss the entire year. Waiters said the biggest difference between the NBA and the college game is the speed, how fast it is. Other than that, its more about having confidence in yourself. Dont be afraid to make mistakes, (because) mistakes are going to happen. Scott said he thought the Cavs played selfishly in the loss to the Bucks -- but hes not overly concerned after a good practice Thursday. I know that its going to take some time, he said. I know we dont have a bunch of guys on this team that are selfish basketball players. But (there was) too much dribbling, not enough passing and moving. The Cavs need to cut three more players before the regular-season opener Oct. 30 against Washington. They waived guard Kevin Anderson and swingman Justin Holiday on Wednesday. For more Cavs updates today, check my FOX Sports Ohio blog, The Amico Report or my author page here. Follow Sam Amico on Twitter @SamAmicoFSO
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