Byron Scott says not to put too much stock into Saturday's intrasquad audition at The Q.
By SAM AMICOFS Ohio
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- Don't read too much into Saturday's Wine & Gold Scrimmage at Quicken Loans Arena. That comes straight from Cavaliers coach Byron Scott.
In fact, Scott sent a fun-loving message to fans who might be concerned about lineups for the intrasquad scrum.
"Tell them to chill out a little bit. Just relax," Scott said, smiling. "We're still in the process of understanding who we are as a basketball team."
For instance, when Scott was asked if Kyrie Irving and rookie
Dion Waiters will play on the same team Saturday, Scott responded, "probably not." Instead, the teams will incorporate multiple combinations and receive lots of instruction.
"I know as much as people want to think they know who the starting lineup will be (in the regular season), just because you see a team in wine (Saturday), it doesn't mean that's going to be the starting lineup for the first game," Scott said.
The scrimmage tips off at 5 p.m. and is free to the public.
Scott will conduct a closed practice beforehand, with assistants Nate Tibbetts and Jamahl Mosley acting as head coaches during the scrimmage.
"The first order of business is to get there and get some work done before the game," Scott said. "It's still training camp, so 3 o'clock we'll be there working, getting all our running and conditioning in, getting a lot of our offensive execution in, and getting our shell drill down, which is on the defensive end.
"We'll get some transition defense in as well. When all the people are in and ready, we'll let them have their fun."
One player hoping to have fun is no less than Waiters, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard selected with the No. 4 overall pick in the NBA draft.
"I just can't wait to see how the team's gonna play and work on all the things we've learned out here so far, and to get out there and go up and down (the court)," Waiters said. "I want to get out there and play my game."
Scott said Waiters has "made a lot of growth" in the first three days of practice. Waiters said the same.
"I feel good. I've learned a lot in just three days," Waiters said. "It's hard trying to remember everything. Each day I just try to ask the coaches as much as I can, what position I'm supposed to be at, and things like that. I'm just trying to learn and work hard."
Something Waiters does seem to know for sure, however, is what to expect from fans.
"When I used to watch (Cavs) games, I could just see how passionate the fans are, how crazy it was," he said. "Every time I watched a game it was sold out. I've heard we have a great fan base.
"I just can't wait to get out there and play in front of them."
• Waiters wore a sleeve on his shooting arm at Friday's practice, but said there's no reason for concern. It appeared to be a fashion statement more than anything. "There was a little pain today so I asked for a sleeve," he said. "It actually worked, so I might just wear it. It doesn't bother my shooting. If I had missed a shot I would've taken it off. I hit a shot so I kept it on."
• This actually won't be Waiters' first experience at The Q. He played there as a freshman at Syracuse in the NCAA tournament. "We won one game and lost the other," he said. Then he smiled and added, "We got cheated in the second game."
• Scott said all 20 players in camp are in healthy and will play. That includes veteran shooting guard Daniel Gibson, who underwent foot surgery in April. "My intial thought was to limit him (in practice)," Scott said. "But he's gone through everything. He hasn't missed a beat. Everybody's cleared to go."
• The scrimmage will consist of four, 10-minute quarters (as opposed to the normal 12 minutes). Hot dogs and sodas will be available for $1.
• Butler's Brad Stevens was among the college coaches viewing Cavs practice Friday. Stevens led the Bulldogs to back-to-back NCAA championship game appearances in 2010 in 2011.