INDEPENDENCE: Rookie Dion Waiters' drought of not starting a game ends Tuesday in the Cavs' season opener against the Washington Wizards. He'll be joined by Kyrie Irving, Alonzo Gee, Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao in what is assuredly one of the youngest starting lineups in the NBA.
Since he came off the bench for two years at Syracuse, Waiters last started a game in high school. He struggled through a difficult preseason, making just 34 percent of his shots (35 percent on 3-pointers), but coach Byron Scott has said for days that Waiters made great strides during the final week of camp.
"It's a learning process," Waiters said. "I had to go through what I had to go through. I missed a lot of shots that I normally make. I'm not worried about the preseason anymore. It's over, I'm glad."
By starting Gee at small forward, Scott is electing to bring C.J. Miles off the bench, a role he is familiar with following his time with the Utah Jazz. Scott reserved the right to change his mind and make lineup changes within the first couple of weeks of the season.
"That starting lineup will give us a lot of energy," Scott said. "We have a couple guys who can score. 'Zo did a great job in the preseason, especially on the defensive end. It gives us a better balance."
The average age of the Cavs' opening night lineup is 24.9 years. The average age of their starting five is 23.7. It won't be known for a couple of days where that ranks around the league, but it's obvious the Cavs will have one of the league's youngest rosters.