Coming into Sunday’s contest, one in which ex Cavalier Dion Waiters was pitted against newly acquired J.R. Smith, many people had their eyes on how Waiters would operate against his former team. This was Dion’s first career game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Although many wouldn’t call it trash talking, Dion Waiters has been short for kind words going into the game against the Wine and Gold. Waiters earlier this week talked about how he has only talked to Thompson and Irving since the trade. Many believe the main problem Waiters had during his time in Cleveland was ball possession. Waiters was cited saying “I, actually, like, you know, touch the ball” (Based off his time on the Thunder). After this being said, a statistic showed that Waiters played less minutes in Cleveland and touched the ball more than he does in Oklahoma City.
When Waiters first checked into the game in the 1st quarter, he was rained with boos. Waiters said after the game, “It is what it is. Boos, no boos. I can’t focus on that stuff”. Many knew the boos were coming due to what has been said by Waiters this week.
This match-up between the Thunder and the Cavaliers didn’t show us much difference between J.R. and Dion, due to the fact their numbers were almost identical. Dion played 33:02 on 5-15 shooting with 14 points, Smith played 32:25 on 4-14 shooting with 14 points. Seeing both players play equally well and contribute for both teams is good to see, but the Cavaliers gain much more experience with J.R. on the roster. The Cleveland Cavaliers play their next game against the new look Detroit Pistons next on Tuesday at 7:30.