LAS VEGAS: Tyler Zeller shined for the second straight game and Dion Waiters did not. Zeller has been the best player on the floor in each of the Cavs’ two summer league games, the latest being Monday’s 94-88 win over the NBA Development League team.
Zeller had 19 points, seven rebounds and made 9 of 10 free throws. Waiters, however, continues to struggle at both ends. He scored 11 points and added three assists, but made just 4 of 14 shots and is now 7 of 25 shooting through two summer league games.
“The biggest thing with him is conditioning,” Cavs coach Byron Scott said. “Once he gets in shape, all the other stuff will start to come.”
Waiters made a long jumper in the fourth quarter and followed it up with an explosive dunk in transition, but otherwise struggled to find his rhythm offensively and didn’t move enough defensively for Scott’s liking.
Scott worked with Waiters during the Cavs’ morning shootaround on staying low in his defensive stance and moving his feet.
“He’s so used to zone (defense) the last couple of seasons that he stands around a lot on the defensive end,” Scott said. “We have to get him out of that. Tonight he was a little better than he was (Sunday), but he has a ways to go in that department.”
Waiters said he twisted his ankle in the first half, but played through it, and complained that he was getting hit on his arm during shots.
“But the refs don’t see everything,” he said. “I have to continue to play through it. The shots are going to fall. I’m not worried about that.”
Zeller was terrific again, making plays at both ends of the floor and sinking big free throws. Through his first two games in a Cavs jersey, Zeller has already demonstrated the ability to block shots, rebound, defend the basket, make long jumpers from 20 feet and drive to the basket.
“I like what I’ve seen,” Scott said. “Our first two games, Tyler has been our best player on both ends of the floor.”
Donald Sloan had 19 points, including nine in the fourth quarter for the Cavs. Tristan Thompson did not play. He took a spill during Sunday’s game, but is perfectly healthy. He was held out to give other players a longer look.