The goal was for Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters to get one step closer to return from injury. A quick trip to Sioux Falls helped set the stage for a possible return against Cleveland tonight (January 2).

December 22, 2017 was the last time Waiters saw game action for the Heat. Subsequent surgery in January 2018 repaired his left ankle which was deemed unstable.

Last week Waiters was assigned to the Sioux Falls Skyforce for an injury rehabilitation stint to help simulate game situations that are hard to come by at the NBA level. After practices Friday and Saturday (December 29 and 30) Waiters was worked well then returned to Miami.

Skyforce Head Coach Nevada Smith admitted having Waiters in their midst made it more than just a practice.

"Dion asserted himself and our guys had to raise their intensity and effort levels to get to where he was. It also helped us shake off the rust after a couple days off (following the Winter Showcase). He was very thankful to all the guys for the effort they gave. It was a really good two days."

The Dion effect could have been a factor in their Sunday contest. The 'Force had blazing starts in each half with seven straight in the first half and five consecutive conversions after intermission on the way toward 23 overall from long distance against the Iowa Wolves.

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