Miami Heat Roundtable: Checking in after a loss to the Orlando Magic

ORLANDO, FL - OCTOBER 18: Hassan Whiteside
ORLANDO, FL - OCTOBER 18: Hassan Whiteside /
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ORLANDO, FL – OCTOBER 18: Dion Waiters
ORLANDO, FL – OCTOBER 18: Dion Waiters /

Watching Dion Waiters in this game alone, how confident are you in him, moving forward?

Tachauer: Listen, I love Waiters’ confidence. And I want to see him succeed, above and beyond. But if we’re being totally honest, he makes me nervous sometimes. And I was definitely feeling that watching him against the Orlando Magic. I didn’t realize his ankle was still bothering him either, which only adds to my anxiety. Sometimes I wonder if he wouldn’t have been better off having surgery…

Mora: I’m still confident in him, only if he keeps up that Kobe Bryant mentality. Tonight it backfired on him though. He had a solid game, but it wasn’t enough. He needs to keep up that clutch gene down the stretch. He has the talent to confuse his defenders outside the perimeter as well as when he drives in attacking.

Eyrich: I didn’t see what we wanted out of Waiters, plain and simple. With that being said, he still was able to produce with 15 points. I will never put too much stress on one performance though. It is also possible that his ankle is still giving him fits. Waiters is the most confident player in the NBA and Riley has pushed him to a whole new level in the offseason. I’m confident that Waiters will be able to be the guy, moving forward.

Slater: Waiters was the most disappointing aspect about the preseason and easily the most disappointing part of the season opener. He can say it’s okay, but the ankle doesn’t look right and he doesn’t look like the same player. There was a sequence early on in the Orlando game where he drove on Aaron Gordon and tried to use a spin move to create separation. Waiters was so slow on the spin that Gordon was not phased, and easily blocked his shot. Then, Gordon sprinted down the floor for a dunk while Waiters trotted back. The lift on his jumper and explosion to the rim will only get worse as the season goes on, sadly. If Waiters deals with this all year, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Heat opt to shut him down to have the ankle surgery he probably should’ve had at the end of last season.