ICYMI, it’s time to BUY BUY BUY back into Waiters Island! It’s been a rough and rocky stay on the Dion Waiters front of the years, but it appears that the fruit of his staunchest castaway advocates is finally coming to fruition this post season. Waiters has become a DECISIVE and EFFICIENT player. Two words no NBA fan would ever believe they would utter about Waiters…
FWIW, the No Filter Network is big fans of big homie Zach’s work. When he has some gospel to preach, you listen. He’s been living on Waiters Island Tom Hanks style for years now.
But it’s true. Waiters has become a crucial cog for the Oklahoma City Thunder this postseason, and especially against the Warriors thus far. Waiters’s ability to run the floor in transition (which Golden State has had no answer for defensively), hit open jumpers and attach the lane and distribute has been a god send. Perhaps most importantly, Waiters has been able to fill the long coveted 5th man crunch time rotation role for the Thunder, perfectly I might add.
Case in point:
That’s a great look at Waiters beating Draymond Green into lane in transition, setting up an easy flush for Serge Ibaka. Dion has always had the athletic ability and potential to do things like this, but too often in the past he chose to use his skills to take ill advised contested mid range jumpers, or force the issue in transition. It’s clear that Billy Donovan has used some voodoo magic to coax Dion into playing decisively and within himself. The result, has been a lot of plays that look like the one above, and this one below…
Again, Waiters is able to beat his man up the floor in transition, get into the lane, absorb a hit from Green and find a wide open Kevin Durant on the rack. When the Thunder get Russell Westbrook and KD playing fast in transition they are tough to beat. When they get Russ, KD and Waiters playing like this, they may be damn near too much to handle for the Dubs. Waiters is pivotal as the third ball handler for the Thunder. When there’s a third guy on the floor for them that can play-make and create it’s a game changer.
Stuff like this has been a revelation for longtime Waiters Island supporters. When GM Sam Presti pulled the trigger to trade for Waiters at the trade deadline last season, this is the type of athleticism and skill he envisioned the team would be able to hone. It took a lot of time, but it’s paying off in spades now. If Waiters can continue to know his role and play his part in OKC’s team defense mindset, the Thunder have more than a shot at ousting Golden State.
It’s a strange world we’re living in people… And Dion Waiters is driving the crazy train at the moment.