Los Angeles Lakers: 3 reasons Dion Waiters was right choice over J.R. Smith

Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
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1. He can create his own shot

While Smith is chiefly a catch-and-shoot player at this stage of his career, Waiters is someone who can get his own shot off the dribble. He’s never been accused of having a high basketball IQ, but neither has Smith.

Piggy-backing on the last slide, a guard who can not only create for others (as Rondo can still do at times) but also create for himself is what the Lakers are lacking when James is resting.

Waiter’s overall shooting percentages are pretty poor, but his 3-point efficiency isn’t. For his career, he’s shot 34.8 percent from downtown, and in five of his eight seasons, he’s shot better than that from beyond the arc.

He also has that “dog” in him, which is something the Purple and Gold could use more of.

In all likelihood, Waiters won’t be getting as much playing time as he has in the past. But there are times when he will get hot and start feeling it, and in a key playoff game, that could swing things in the team’s favor.

Longtime Los Angeles Lakers fans can surely remember how instrumental role players such as Michael Cooper, Robert Horry, Rick Fox, Lamar Odom, Trevor Ariza and Metta World Peace were. None of them were prolific scorers, but there were times where they briefly went off and helped the Lakers win a big playoff game.

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If Waiters has his head on straight (a big if), maybe he can do the same for this year’s edition of the Lakers.