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Mike Brown a little frustrated with Dion Waiters’ defense

Oct 16, 2013, 3:35 PM EDT

Dion Waiters, Gerald Henderson AP

Mike Brown is a defensive minded coach. That is his reputation.

If you see the Cavaliers as a playoff team in the East (and I do) then you are counting on a healthy Kyrie Irving, somebody stepping up in the frontcourt, and Mike Brown improving a defense that was 27th in the NBA in points per possession last season.

Brown’s defensive focus led to some frustration and discussions with second-year two guard Dion Waiters and Brown on Tuesday night. Waiters was matched up on Gerald Henderson and getting torched pretty good as the Cavaliers were losing to the Bobcats, reports the Morning Journal.

“He takes me out, talks to me and then puts me back in,” Waiters said after the Cavs’ 92-74 loss to the Bobcats on Tuesday before a sold-out crowd of 4,047 at the Canton Memorial Civic Center.

Brown did that three times on Tuesday night.

“You’re better than this,” (Brown said he) told Waiters. “To his credit, he tried harder. He has a lot of room to grow.”

The good news out of this was Waiters was receptive and open to the tough-love coaching. That’s the attitude you want.

Waiters, Irving and Jarrett Jack need to be solid defensively out top while the Cavaliers hope Earl Clark or Alonzo Gee grow into the “3-and-D” role at the three. Then they just need someone up front (Anderson Varejao, eventually Andrew Bynum) who can be a rim protector in the paint.

But in the NBA, effort and guys buying into the system can raise a bad defensive team up to average — everybody in the NBA is athletic so if they bring some energy to defense they can be solid. Ray Allen was considered a minus defender but in the strong Boston and Miami systems he’s been passable.

If the Cavaliers are going to make the playoffs, they need everyone to step up and be solid on D. Including Waiters.

  1. nflcrimerankingscom - Oct 16, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    Brown always has his teams play at least good D, they’ll probably end up #10-15 in defensive efficiency.

  2. hbdbrowns33 - Oct 16, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Wow, it looked like the Canton arena was small but it sold out with only 4,000 people. That seems awfully small even if its only for a D-League team, the Canton Charge.

  3. ljl2 - Oct 16, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    Context doesn’t matter eh? It’s preseason and brown has called timeouts to reinforce defensive principles with multiple players this preseason. Where is the article about him yelling at Kyrie during a stoppage? Or multiple timeouts for Bennett last night. It’s cool you saw the quote. But I was at the game and saw brown joking with waiters as he was showing him what to do. Both guys smiling and waiters pointing somewhere while asking something and then nodding. It’s called… Wait for it… Coaching!

  4. bpercich1134 - Oct 16, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Defense wins ball games. Brown sets the tempo early on expectations for defense. Our focus is always on the amount of points scored per game, never any questions related to defense. When ESPN highlights the NBA or college games, the main focus is upon PPG. Bravo for Brown whose main focus is the defensive side of games!

  5. ProBasketballPundit - Oct 16, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    Mike Brown is probably frustrated with the entire team’s defense. Last three seasons the Cavs have finished 26th, 23rd and 29th in defensive points per possession under Byron Scott. The previous 5 years under Mike Brown the Cavs finished 7th, 3rd, 10th, 2nd, and 13th. I realize having LeBron makes a difference but more often than not defense is representative of the coaching and effort put forth more than it is talent. I imagine this team will return to the top third of the league defensively and Kyrie will take care of the offense.

  6. freddysanford - Oct 16, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    Wait a minute ——- how did Mike Brown get another job in the NBA ??????

  7. acdc84 - Oct 16, 2013 at 11:54 PM

    The whole “making the playoffs” thing is always interesting… Yes, a good team should always make the playoffs (over 50% of teams do every year), but unless u have a legitimate shot of competing in the 2nd round for a conference finals birth, aren’t u better off playing young, getting better, but still “competing” for a lottery pick?

    • adamsjohn714 - Oct 17, 2013 at 1:35 AM

      no. tanking is a dumb strategy most of the time.

    • ljl2 - Oct 17, 2013 at 8:26 AM

      They are playing young… Varejao is 31 and Jack is 30 but no one else who will get minutes is over 26.

  8. adamsjohn714 - Oct 17, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    I’m surprised the headline didn’t say Brown frustrated with Dion Waiters’ offense.

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