Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 10/9/12
CANTON, Ohio -- Dion Waiters had a lousy night, that much we know. But perhaps Cavaliers fans should relax. Not to make excuses, but he was playing in his first back-to-back a week into his NBA career. The result: Two points on 1-for-7 shooting in a 97-80 preseason loss to Milwaukee at the Canton Memorial Civic Center. OK, maybe that is an excuse. But its a decent one, dont you think? Of course, in Cleveland, the answer is probably no. Not surprisingly, it was the answer in the coachs office as well. He struggled offensively big-time, Cavs coach Byron Scott said of Waiters. I took him out in the second half because I drew up a play and he messed it up. To me that was a lack of focus so I figured he didnt need to play the rest of the game. Waiters, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard and the No. 4 overall pick in the draft, has come off the bench in both preseason games. In Mondays 91-85 win over Montepaschi Siena, he proved to be a real difference-maker, compiling a few key moments at the end of a close game. But Tuesday, Waiters looked like a rookie. Thats to be expected. A lack of focus, however, is something Scott just cannot forgive. You got to know the plays, Scott said. I cant draw up a play during a timeout and then you go on the floor and mess it up. Second thing is, defensively, hes still gotta do better off the ball. I think hes doing a decent job on the ball. Thats not enough in the big scheme of things. Of course, if you ask Scott, his prized rookie wasnt alone. The entire roster could use a serious refresher when it comes to what their coach expects. I thought we took a step back as a team, Scott said. I thought we played selfish basketball. The Bucks played hard and shared the ball. Thats the way we have to play. C.J. Miles, who starts at the shooting guard spot everyone figured was reserved for Waiters, led the Cavs with 18 points in 22 minutes. That included 4-for-7 shooting on three-pointers. Also, reigning rookie of the year Kyrie Irving contributed 16 points, five rebounds and three assists. But when it comes to double-figure scorers for the Cavs, that was it. Only forward Jon Leuer, claimed off waivers this past summer, came close with eight points in reserve. And even he didnt escape Scotts ire entirely. I thought he did some really good things, Scott said. But? He and Tyler (Zeller) made a bunch of mistakes, Scott quickly added. We always talk about the closest big (to a made basket) taking the ball out. They didnt do that for four or five minutes. I dont know if thats just a lack of focus, guys saying theyre tired or whatever. Its no excuse. Theres that word again -- excuse. Waiters cant use it, Leuer cant use it, and when it comes to the Cavs and Cleveland fans, no one wants to hear it. NOTES Waiters wasnt the only rookie who messed up. Bucks forward John Henson got the hook from coach Scott Skiles in the second quarter. I ran a play wrong in the first half and thats why I got yanked, said Henson, the No. 14 overall pick. Deservedly so. Henson played his college ball with Zeller, the 17th overall pick. Henson finished with six points and seven rebounds. Zeller had six and three, respectively. Irving didnt start in the preseason last year, and advises Waiters accordingly. Irving said he told Waiters to keep the faith. Something I struggled with (as a rookie) was trusting my instincts, Irving said. Trusting my instincts is what got me to the NBA. You cant worry about those shots going in and out. Scott said he will probably change the starting lineup for the next two preseason games. I dont know yet, he said. Well just have to wait and see. Cavs reserves that played in Mondays game -- Samardo Samuels, Donald Sloan, Omri Casspi -- did not play Tuesday. Scott instead went with Kelenna Azubuike, Jeremy Pargo, Leuer, Kevin Jones and even long shots Kevin Anderson and Justin Holiday. The first group looked better than the second. Scott predicted he wont have a set rotation until the fifth preseason game. Were just trying a lot of things and seeing what parts work, he said. Hopefully within the next week well figure some of those things out. The Cavs play in Champaign, Ill., against Chicago Friday night. They return to Quicken Loans Arena to face Washington on Saturday. Follow Sam Amico on Twitter @SamAmicoFSO
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