Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 10/8/12
CLEVELAND -- Kyrie Irving coming off the bench in the preseason is so last year.

This year, Cavaliers fans are more concerned with the fact Dion Waiters, the No. 4 overall draft pick, did not start Mondays preseason opener vs. Montepaschi Siena. He may not start in Tuesdays preseason game in Canton, either.

Instead, the honor will go to another newcomer -- free-agent pickup C.J. Miles, a veteran of six NBA seasons (all with Utah).

I just felt C.J. comes in with a little more experience, hes a guy whos played in a ton of games. He fits in well with what were doing, Cavs coach Byron Scott said prior to tipoff at Quicken Loans Arena.

Its the same thing I said about Kyrie last year. Dion has to earn it. Simple as that.

It ended up OK for Irving. He was named 2011-12 NBA rookie of the year. But before that, he caddied for Ramon Sessions in the Cavs two preseason games.

By opening night, Irving was the starter, and the same could happen with Waiters.

Its a possibility, Scott said. We have three weeks before the start of the (regular) season. So yeah, it could change.

Added Miles, "I guess it's my job to lose."

Waiters came off the bench during his two seasons at Syracuse. So its not like hes in unfamiliar territory.

Its not a knock on Dion, Scott stressed. I think the kid has made some great strides, especially on the defensive end. He played zone (both years at Syracuse), and now hes being asked on a day-to-day basis to play man. Not only off the ball but on the ball.

Hes come a long, long way. Hes so much better than I thought hed be at this particular time, but he still has a ways to go.

Of course, not that any of this is ideal for Waiters. When drafted, he told Scott he wanted to become a starter.

And I told him that day, hed have to earn it, Scott said. So the first day we put teams together (in practice), he wasnt on the first team. Same thing with Kyrie last year.

Of course, Irving was drafted No. 1 overall. It was power forward Tristan Thompson who was selected with the fourth pick -- and Thompson didnt start the regular-season opener.

Like I said, this is the preseason, Scott said. Theres probably going to be three games where (Waiters) does start, because I want to see how he does with the first unit as well. So dont read into it. We still have three weeks of the preseason.

But, Scott added, If he doesnt start the first 10-15 games of the (regular) season I wouldnt be surprised.

When asked what Waiters needs to do to secure a starting role, Scott said, Well, I think most of its on the defensive end. Thats the key. There have been times in training camp when his man has the ball and he does a terrific job, but when (his man) gives it up, he just stands and watches.

And offense?

Its just knowing what were doing on a day-to-day basis, Scott said. I think its fantastic that he asks questions, because hes not 110 percent sure offensively of all the play-calls. But I think hes going to get that in the next three weeks.

He also has to learn on the offensive end that when the balls not in his hands, he has to keep his spacing and not chase the ball. He has to cut, and learn how to play with the ball at times. Thats big in the offense that were running.

Follow Sam Amico on Twitter @SamAmicoFSO
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