Los Angeles Lakers: Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith will energize bench

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
Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Positives and Negatives about Dion Waiters’ scrimmage play

Waiters has been so good since his arrival in the purple and gold that he has received a nickname from his teammates “Bubble Cheese”, evolving from his prior nickname Philly Cheese. He has been cheesing throughout the entire Disney bubble experience, and like Caveman in the Disney movie Holes, he has earned his nickname by impressing the rest of the group.

After the last scrimmage, Frank Vogel had plenty of great things to say about Waiters, and said it was his goal to get him to attack the paint on offense. The video above perfectly displays a highlight when Waiters does just that in the most crucial point in the game, and he was able to finish at the rim against two defenders.

Out of the two, Waiters made more of a case in scrimmages to get playing time in games that count in Orlando. The Lakers are also higher on his potential considering they signed him over Smith before the season was suspended back in March.

In the third scrimmage he showed an ability to run the offense and an ability to distribute that he did not in the first two games. He had 8 assists against the Wizards, after having just one in both of the first two scrimmages.

His ability to get others involved and also get his own shot in isolation out on the wing makes him a unique option off the bench that was not there all regular season. Even in the games where everyone on the roster played, he still was able to make an impact averaging 10.5 points in those contests.

The main problem with Waiters, though, is that when he gets the free reign of the offense, like he would have with the second unit, he can get a little dribble-happy and get less efficient with his shot selection. That was evident when he had 5 turnovers when he was one of the main ball handlers against the Wizards.

Another negative is that he is not the 3-point threat that Smith is, even though he loves to shoot it from that distance. He was only able to make three out of his nine attempts from 3-point range in scrimmages. His confidence from the beyond the arc could get the Lakers into trouble if he takes too many, for his career he only averages 34.8 percent from beyond the arc.