From a Cleveland Cavaliers fan perspective, the best part of NBA All-Star weekend was not Kyrie Irving winning the MVP of the All-Star Game. It was not Dion Waiters' three minute one-on-one battle with Tim Hardaway Jr. in the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge.
Those things were both great and showed the talent these two guards possess, but anyone who follows the Cavaliers already knew they had two talented players.
What they likely also knew is that these two players aren't fond of each other. There were reports early in the season of a locker room fight with Irving and Waiters involved.
After beginning the season as starters, the two have seen their minutes together significantly decrease. Waiters has become the Cavs' sixth man as he and Irving have not been successful together.
Yet the four game winning streak before the All-Star break showed signs of promise. Irving and Waiters were on the court together more and the vibe between the two seemed to be improved. The Cavaliers then sent a coach with the duo to New Orleans and they worked out together both Friday and Saturday mornings.
According to reports, the shoot around was designed to help each of them better understand where the other likes to receive the ball and their best shooting spots on the court. Basically these two have realized they need each other to win and are willing to work together to get the job done.
This is the best news those in Cleveland could hope to hear. There have been All-Star weekends over the past three seasons where players have gone and demonstrated their individual abilities but not brought that success back home after the break. It seems that Irving and Waiters are working to make sure that doesn't happen this time around.
Due to an Eastern Conference that has been miserable this season, the Cavaliers are not out of playoff contention by a long shot. They currently sit three games behind the Charlotte Bobcats, who would be the eighth seed if the playoffs started today. The schedule shapes up well for them over the rest of February, as they face five Eastern Conference opponents consecutively, three at home.
If Waiters and Irving can work out their differences and start playing together, there is no reason this team cannot finish the month on a good run and make a strong push over the final month and a half of the season.
Cleveland may not make the playoffs yet again this year, as they have dug themselves a hole, but Cavs fans would love to see some sign of this team coming together and playing entertaining basketball. Irving and Waiters are key for either of those things to happen.
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