If the severity of the offseason didn’t already hurt the Oklahoma City Thunder following Kevin Durant’s two big games against his former team, then Dion Waiters scoring 33 points for the Heat and beating the Golden State Warriors will.
Waiters was having a slightly better season than he did in OKC last season, but his up-and-down trend continued in his new location. However, as of late (the last two games), Waiters has scored a combined 66 points on 64.1 percent field goal shooting and more impressively, 68.8 percent from three-point range. For the season, Waiters averages 14.6 points per game, but he’s trending upward, averaging 21.6 points in the last six games.
DION WAITERS!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/b1aPVPnOvx
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) January 24, 2017
Last season with the Thunder, Waiters averaged 9.8 points per game and to be honest, the decline from 12.7 points in the 2014-2015 season doesn’t do its justice. Waiters simply couldn’t find his shot last season with OKC, so seeing him finally getting those shots in the basket in Miami is bittersweet for OKC fans and probably teammates. However, old fans and teammates seem to be happy for Waiters, as he was one of the crowd favorites, but at the same time, one of the most criticized when he was with the Thunder. This new role in Miami, surrounded by a very young core.
Waiters is only one player on a list of former Thunder players that have gone on to do better things in another city: James Harden is the most obvious, Cole Aldrich until recently, Reggie Jackson, even Kevin Durant and the list continues. Nationally, many believe that the Thunder doesn’t utilize every player’s full potential like San Antonio, the team the Thunder model themselves after does.