Dion Waiters thriving with Cavs' 2nd unit

USA TODAY Sports

Remember when being relegated to reserve duty was a bad thing for a player's confidence? Neither does Dion Waiters.

Cleveland Cavaliers rookie shooting guard Dion Waiters may not have enjoyed head coach Byron Scott demoting him to reserve duty to start the new year, but that doesn't mean Waiters hasn't handled it well.

Waiters is thriving as a reserve and scoring at his highest rate of the season. As the Big East's Sixth Man of the Year last year at Syracuse, he's proven he can come off the bench and contribute in a big way although he's clearly disappointed with the diminished role after beginning the season as a starter.

He's averaged a solid 18 points off the bench and had a season-high 33 as a reserve during Monday's 124-118 loss to the Sacramento Kings on the road.

Scott cited the need to give the second unit a lift to make the Cavs better as a whole. That's the primary reason he's decided to take Waiters out as a starter, despite previously saying that Kyrie Irving and Waiters needed more time on the court together.

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