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Cavs' Dion Waiters returns to practice, will play Tuesday vs. Raptors

By Jason Lloyd Published: December 17, 2012
Waiters dribble drive
Dion Waiters will return Tuesday after missing eight games with a sprained left ankle. It isn't clear yet whether he'll start or come off the bench. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

INDEPENDENCE: Dion Waiters returned to practice on Monday and will play Tuesday night in the Cavs' home game against the Toronto Raptors. Coach Byron Scott won't say whether he will start or come off the bench until pregame on Tuesday.

Waiters missed eight games with a sprained left ankle. His return means the entire roster will be available for the first time since Nov. 18. Siince Tyler Zeller fractured his cheekbone in the fourth game of the season, the Cavs' entire roster has been available for only six games -- and Kyrie Irving played in one of those with a fractured finger.

"It's almost like starting over again," Scott said. "They know a little bit about each other, obviously, but you want to get these guys on the court as much as possible."

Waiters acknowledged he missed much longer than he was anticipating. He was expecting to only be out a few days, but the bone bruise compounded matters. The time off allowed the coaches to help refocus his game.

Waiters got away from attacking the basket and fell into too many long jump shots. After practice on Monday, Scott stressed the importance of getting back to what he does best, which is get to the basket and facilitate for teammates. Waiters' 15.2 points per game ranks second behind Irving and  his 3.4 assists are tied with Anderson Varejao for second. He is shooting 36 percent.

"I found myself shooting a lot of jump shots, too," Waiters said. "That's not really part of my game. I can shoot, but I'm better attacking and finding the open guys and creating plays. That's my most important thing, just focusing on getting to the rim."

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