Oct 11, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic small forward Tobias Harris (12) is guarded by Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Dion Waiters (3) during the second quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers G Dion Waiters must improve on defense


When the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Syracuse guard Dion Waiters with the fourth overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft, the hope was that he and point guard Kyrie Irving would create one of the most dynamic back courts in basketball and eventually, potentially this season, lead the Cavaliers back to the playoffs.

The drafting of Waiters came as a surprise to many, the 6’4 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native averaged 14.2 points, 3.0 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game. Although the Cavaliers would like to see him raise his shooting percentages (.412/.310/.746), new (and old) Cavaliers’ coach Mike Brown wants Waiters to focus on the other end of the floor. Brown, a defensive-minded coach, thinks Waiters can be a “high-level defender.”

During the Cavaliers’ 92-74 preseason loss to the Charlotte Bobcats Tuesday night, Brown continued to take Waiters in and out of the game to explain what he was doing wrong.

“He takes me out, talks to me and then puts me back in,” Waiters told Bob Finnan of The Morning Journal & The News-Herald.

At one point, Brown told Waiters “you’re better than this.”

With all that the Cavaliers have invested in Waiters, the whole organization obviously believes that.