Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters says peace of mind played big part in being able to focus on getting ready for season

Dion Waiters is in the best condition of his career entering an NBA season despite continuing to nurse the severely sprained left ankle he suffered in March.

That reason, says the Miami Heat shooting guard, has a lot to do with peace of mind that came with signing a four-year, $52 million contract in July.

Miami’s Dion Waiters drives to the basket during Thursday’s preseason game at Brooklyn. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

“Once you know where you’re going to be, everything else is easy, the basketball part, that’s the easy part,” said Waiters, 25, and entering his sixth season. “You know everything already here, the system, the coaches. You already know what to expect. So that’s the easy part. Now it’s just getting going.”

After scoring seven points and handing out four assists in the Heat’s preseason opener Sunday, Waiters, like most of his teammates, struggled on Thursday’s loss at Brooklyn, making just 1-of-8 shots. The Heat play their third preseason game tonight in Orlando (7 p.m., Fox Sports Sun.)

Waiters admitted he was out of shape last season, entering camp around 235 pounds. But he did not sign until late in the free agent process, July 26.

This year – after re-signing with Miami within the first week of free agency – he’s around 220 pounds.

“Even though I was limited to what I normally would do during the summer (because of the ankle), I made sure I ate right and I made sure I ran,” Waiters said. “Once it started feeling better that’s when I started easing myself into doing a lot of things I normally would do.

“My most important thing was working and really trying to find different ways to get better even though I was limited. I know coming in I had to be in shape. … I made sure I worked. Smart though. This time I had to work smart.”

Coach Erik Spoelstra is pleased with Waiters’ conditioning.

“He’s been moving well, he’s in good condition and he’s been showing that burst of speed,” Spoelstra said.

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