Published On: Wed, Dec 6th, 2017

Heat's Spoelstra says Waiters has to be more efficient

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Dion Waiters seems to be reverting to bad habits, and Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is not happy.

“He has to be more efficient,” Spoelstra said Tuesday, per the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson. “He knows that.”

And the stats back up Spoelstra’s statement. Waiters is averaging a career-high 2.7 turnovers a game and is back to shooting below 40 percent from the floor. He’s hitting just 31 percent of his 3-point shots, and that’s coming on a career-high 6.4 attempts per game from beyond the arc. The Heat are 4.3 points per 100 possessions better with Waiters on the bench.

“There has to be more commitment to get him open and get him into the paint,” Spoelstra said. “And he has to be more committed to making the right plays and not just settling for low percentage pull ups, particularly when they’re contested and particularly when there’s more time on the clock.”

The inefficiency albatross has hung around Waiter’s neck for most of his career, but last season he did his best to try and shed it. In his final 25 games of 2016-17, he shot close to 47 percent from the field and 44.5 percent from deep as Miami reeled off a 13-game winning streak.

Despite the Heat missing the playoffs, that performance earned Waiters a four-year, $52-million contract over the summer.

The good news is Waiters is coming through in crunch time. He’s shooting almost 61 percent in the clutch, defined by NBA Stats as the final five minutes of games with a margin of five points or less.

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