Miami Heat: Dispatch from Waiters Island, week one

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 21: Dion Waiters
MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 21: Dion Waiters /

With Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters signing a new contract, comes a new column dedicated to the one and only.

It seems only right that every article deserves an introduction, and each tropical paradise filled with sun, water and buckets deserves a worthy brochure. So let’s talk about the dispatches from Waiters Island and what you can expect to find in this weekly column.

I suppose it’s right there in the name.

Waiters Island is a fictional landmass in the middle of a vast ocean (although some would often argue that it may be an archipelago after all.) that is dedicated to the one and only Dion Waiters, the getter of buckets and the speaker of truths for the Miami Heat. I think having a landmass named after you is pretty cool, so that makes Dion Waiters pretty cool, and someone worthy to follow.

How will these articles look?

Well, it’s quite simple. Each week we will observe Dion Waiters in his natural habitat, trying to accomplish his primary objective – getting buckets. But overall, it will comment on the Heat as a team and their performance… since Dion doesn’t exist in the vacuum. Unless he sucks the air out of the building, like sucked the air out of the Golden State Warriors that one time he dropped a game winning bucket, like it was a religious prophecy on their heads.

Week 1 Dispatch

Dion Waiters is precious. Exhibit one: the Worth The Wait video posted on September 27th, which documents his journey over the summer that teaches us a few things. One, Waiters is a huge Meek Mill fan, which means Waiters ain’t no quitter.

You don’t just listen to Meek Mill because you want to. No one wants to. If someone said I can only listen to Meek Mill for a full week of my life, I’d contemplate driving into a wall. Waiters is committed. He won’t quit on someone just because they’re a terrible rapper. This means the Heat were getting commitment from their guard, from the start.

More importantly, it showed camaraderie with the Heat and how tight-knit this unit was, coming into the season.

President Pat Riley stuck by his guys this summer (committing somewhat absurd amounts of money to some of them), but the chemistry the Heat displayed closing off the season warranted that from the franchise point of view. In an Eastern Conference that is more like the desert in Mad Max (except instead of deadly monster trucks with metal spikes on them, everyone is driving Fischer-Price Flinstone cars), every advantage is a big advantage. The Heat have each other.

The biggest thing about Waiters in the first three games is that he’s fitting into his role, and his role is to be around for when the Heat suddenly need an influx of buckets on either side of the court. He’s shooting better from the field (though not necessarily from 3 right now) and is more engaged on defense (which I suppose against the Atlanta Hawks is basically showing up, but still).

More importantly is he knows when to throttle it down, or when to let guys like Josh Richardson cook.

Some might say that Waiters hasn’t had a Waiters-esque game yet, to which I have the following reply.

First homie, chill, it’s only been three days into the season and everyone takes a while to adjust. I once took a full week just to respond to emails ,after a two week vacation. Waiters had been gone for a full five months. Second, every game is a Waiters-esque game. In his mind, Dion Wiaters is a planet with it’s own gravitational pull that will stop at nothing, not even a tweaked ankle, to drop 19 points on the Indiana Pacers.

Most importantly though, it will pick up. Last year, Waiters clipped about 39 percent from downtown. And once he gets there from his current 33 percent, it will open up room for guys inside such as Hassan Whiteside, James Johnson and Justise Winslow. For now, it’s just Waiters being Waiters, in his regular early season warm-up, getting ready to get buckets.

Next: The Miami Heat struggle from downtown against the San Antonio Spurs

Until next week, over and out, from Waiters Island.