Dion Waiters appreciates tough love.
The Cavaliers shooting guard admits he loves the way Mike Brown is coaching him.
“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 yanked Waiters out of the game at least three times to correct mistakes.
“He can be a high-level defender,” Brown said.
However, he wasn’t doing things at a high level in the first half when Bobcats shooting guard Gerald Henderson was scoring on him at will.
Brown called time out and brought the second-year shooting guard to the sideline.
“You’re better than this,” he told Waiters.
“To his credit, he tried harder. He has a lot of room to grow.”
Brown said the 6-foot-4, 221-pound Waiters knows how good he can be, but he might not realize how hard he’ll have to work to get there.
“It’s hard to play at a high level for every possession,” Brown said.
Waiters finished with five points, five personal fouls and four turnovers in 23 minutes. It wasn’t one of his better efforts.
The Cavs (2-1) jumped out to a 27-17 lead after the first quarter. But that’s where their prosperity ended. They were outscored thereafter, 75-47.
Brown said the game was lost in the third quarter when the starters were on the floor. The Bobcats (2-2) blitzed the Cavs, 32-17, in the third quarter.
“We have to come to play and not take shortcuts,” Brown said. “Defensively, we didn’t communicate.”
One of the few standouts in the game was Henry Sims, who started at center in place of Anderson Varejao, who was rested.
Sims, fighting desperately for the last roster spot, ended with eight points and a team-high nine rebounds.
“Henry was pretty good,” Brown said. “He was a guy who took some shortcuts defensively. But he had some good moments.”
Sims said he doesn’t feel any pressure.
“It’s basketball,” he said. “I go out there and do what I can do.”
Forward Anthony Bennett did what he could do, too, before he fouled out with 7 minutes, 22 seconds to play. He started where he left off in the Orlando game last Friday by burying his first two 3-pointers.
However, despite the fast start, Bennett finished with seven points and five rebounds.
Cavs guard Kyrie Irving and swingman C.J. Miles each had 15 points. The Cavs shot just 36 percent from the field and committed 25 turnovers.
Guard Kemba Walker paced the Bobcats with 14 points and five assists.