He has always been the star of the team.

Getting stern criticism from the national media, as well as many outlets in Cleveland, was all new to Anthony Bennett.
The Cavaliers forward had to learn how to deal with it.
“I don’t pay attention to all that,” Bennett said. “That’s people’s opinions. I have to focus on what’s going on here and win some games.”

Cavs coach Mike Brown said Bennett is coping with the questions about his game.

“He’s getting better (dealing with it),” he said. “It’s helped him become a stronger individual. At first, I think it bothered him. He wants to play better and prove to everybody he was worthy of where he was selected.

“At first, I think it wore on him. Now, it does bother him, but he’s strong enough to fight through it.”

It wasn’t his fault he was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 draft. But he came to training camp grossly out of shape and overweight. He has worked hard on trimming some of that weight and getting in NBA shape.

His numbers are still inadequate. He’s averaging 2.4 points and 2.0 rebounds and shooting 27.7 percent from the field and 15.4 percent from the 3-point arc.

With center Andrew Bynum excused indefinitely from team activities, Bennett’s minutes have increased. He’s up to about 15 minutes a game in the last two. And, he’s playing strictly at power forward, which is fine with him.

“Right now, that’s where we have the minutes for him,” Brown said. “He’s an intelligent player. It’s easy for him to slip back and forth.”

Brown said he has refused to put a time table on Bennett’s development.
“The luxury we had is we have guys who can hold down the fort until he’s ready,” he said. “I wasn’t in a rush. Granted, everyone wants him to have success yesterday, just like they want the team to have success yesterday. I realize, it’s a process.”