Scott Brooks ‘loved coaching’ Dion Waiters, underestimated his playmaking
Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters will always shoot as if his life depended on how many shots he’ll chuck up on any given night and while his shot selection isn’t exactly one of his strong suits, it doesn’t look like Waiters is going to change his ways — especially now that he has a larger role in Miami than he had in any of previous stops.
Among those stints was with the Oklahoma City Thunder, where Waiters played for two seasons under then-Thunder coach Scott Brooks, who now coaches the Washington Wizards. Waiters mostly came off the bench during his stay in Oklahoma City, but Brooks hasn’t forgotten the contributions of the former Syracuse Orange gunner to the Thunder. Speaking before the Wizards’ match with the Heat this Friday, Brooks expressed his fondness for Waiters while also praising what he thought of as an underrated part of the shooting guard’s game, per Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel.
Wizards coach Scott Brooks on Waiters, “I loved coaching him.” He did that with Thunder. Said he underestimated Waiters as a playmaker.
— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) November 17, 2017
Waiters can always be relied on to get buckets. His ability to find ways to score along with his seemingly bottomless supply of confidence are two qualities that help him stick to the NBA, but as what Brooks implied, there’s more to Waiters than being a master in jacking up shots.
Since becoming a Heat last season, Waiters has involved his teammates more. He averaged a career-high 4.3 assists per game last season and is dishing 3.5 dimes per contest this year. Both figures are higher than in any of his averages before signing a two-year deal with the Heat in 2016. He signed another four-year deal with the Heat last July, giving Miami a solid scoring threat and a maturing table-setter until 2021.