The shinning light behind Cavs horrible record, loss streak and Andy's injury, besides Kyrie has been the imporved play of 4th pick Tristan Thompson. As a Cavs fan, I know how much TT can fustrate you, but know is showing what he can do
In the last 10 games he has been averaging the following in 35.5 mintues
- Pts 13.3
- Rbs 12.4
-Off Rbs 4.3
- Fts 33-45 73.3% (Massive improvement)
- FG 50-100 50%
TT is the defination of 'raw'. It will take time for an young, skinny, undersized PF to develop in the league, but he is showing signs of what he can do and why he was picked 4th in the 2011 draft.
I was going to start a thread on either TT or 2nd year players.
I'm a big Thompson fan and thought he was far from a reach with the 4th pick. Facts are Thompson is not undersized can we please stop calling him that. He's 6'9" with a 7'2 wingspan, and he's also close 240 lbs of solid muscle. So he's neither too short, nor too skinny for a PF, and actually has the perfect dimensions for todays game to play PF.
But at the beginning of the year he looked completely lost. In hindsight I think Andy was just outhustling not only the other team but his own teammates and making Thompson look bad. But TT can rebound, play defense, and score inside. He's a banger that loves throwing his weight around. He's the type of big men that other players hate playing against because of how physical he is. You can label TT a bruiser in that essence, and with increased experience and as his body matures he's going to be a real problem down low for teams.
The one thing I still don't understand about Thompson, and it's one of the reasons I was so high on him coming out Texas is what happen to his elite shot blocking ability? I was under the impression Thompson was going to develop into one of the most imtimidating shot blockers in the league because that's how he played at Texas. But he just doesn't block that many shots any more. At the same time he's a better rebounder then he was so maybe it was a tradeoff.
Also, he gets hisshot blocked way to and just had the mindset to dunk the ball at every single chance, which made me go crazy. He has shown the ability in recent games to go up but not always go for that dunk.
His mentality to dunk that ball on every possession was one of the reasons I loved him. He always reminded me of Amare in that aspect except whereas Amare was always an elite scorer, Thompson can be an elite defender.
But I dunno if the added weight has lowered his vertical or what but he's not completing them dunks like he use too. Thompson before could easily elevate and dunk over 2 defenders in the lane while taking contact. He's not doing that anymore. He also practices going up strong with 2 hands and dunking through contact with resistance bands.
And he does get his shot blocked a lot which is surprising because he'll often go up for shots from funky angles. I think he'll eventually work through these problems and become a tremendous 2 way player.
He reminds me of Junior off of Coach Carter. Haha Definitely raw but his freethrow shooting is a good indication of dedication and work, combine this with his bounce he can become a dangerous player. Tyrus Thomas 2.0?
Tyrus Thomas has done nothing in this league and Tristan Thompson is already better then him so no he's not the next Tyrus Thomas.
But he can become the next Kenyon Martin they're games are very similar both on offense and defense, except Martin could actually shoot from mid range.
1. Tyrus has done more than Tristian at this point in his career (contributing on a playoff team that pushed the #1 to seven games averaging 9ppg 6rpg and 3bpg)
2. I wasn't saying he was the next Tyrus Thomas I was saying at this stage in his career he is a lot likeTyrus Thomas was; raw, untapped, and very athletic.
I think if Tyrus Thomas played like Tristan Thompson he'd be a force in this league. They have 2 completely different playing styles. Tyrus likes to parade around like he's a SF while Thompson bangs in the post like a C.
Tristan has been working with Zydrunas Ilgauskas on scoring under the basket, hes been getting his shots blocked less and less and has been working on post moves, he worked on a mid range shot, he just hasn't used it much all season.
even manhandled him on a few occasions.
In the 6 or 7 Cavs games I've watched this year, Tristan is really doing a relatively good job with positional post defense using his quicks and anticipation.
This means that he'll have less separation from defenders than traditional high block # guys who let offensive players have some space to get a shot off in hopes of blocking it. E.g. Ibaka, Josh Smith off the top of my head.
I don't know about you guys, but I find Thompson's scrappy positional defense to be a good sign. I'd rather have a young high flyer who at least tries to use solid fundamentals on Defense than high flyer who just tries to block shots.
Thanks TLI that's exactly what I was thinking happened this year as traditionally great man to man post defenders don't block shots at a high rate because of this. And if only Thompson was like an inch or 2 taller I think you're looking at one of the better centers in the league because he plays just like a traditional pivot. He gets low down and dirty in the paint and plays with an edge which is borderline dirty. He's already gaining a reputation as being on the least favorite guys to play against because of this.
Don't you think they rather have Leonard instead though?
Honestly no. They'll be able to find a better SF prospect then they'll be able to find a better PF prospect then Thompson.
Tristan Thompson is a tough player, who takes pride in defense, and really commands a presence in the painted area which is becoming more and more rare in today's game. A big man that can get tough baskets in the paint.
The Cavs were higher on Klay Thompson in that draft that "Kiwi"
I think if the cavs could redraft they would take Jonas Valanciunas, guys with his size, skill, potential don't come walking through the door everyday.
Right now Valanciunas hasn't shown that he'd be a better pick than Tristan, Valanciunas is more raw, somewhat injury prone and skinny. I'm not sure I'd take him over Tristan at this point, though he might prove me wrong
I don't see why they would because JV was still on the board with all his size, skill and potential and yet the Cavs opted to bypass him for Thompson. This year Thompson has easily played better then JV so I really doubt they are second guessing themselves.
It'd help if Bryon Scott ran plays for their bigs, he's so guard oriented.
It's nice to see that the Cavs' staff weren't just blowing smoke when they were raving about Thompson's improvement in interviews before the season started. He looks alot more comfortable this season than he did the previous season which is understandable because he was under the microscope due to being picked so highly in the draft but yeah, he's gotten better.
I think he could be a double digit rebounder in the league, for many years. His frame is really big, and I don't think he's done filling out. The Cav's really need another consistant scoring threat, but Thompson is a nice guy to have on your team to do the dirty work and make the most of his touches.
Considering that he is currently, as a sophomore, averaging 9.1 rpg in just 31.2 mpg (albeit only through 37 games) I would say it is a fair assumption that he has double digit rebounder potential.
He has been playing great as of late and is now nearly averaging a double-double (9.7 ppg 9.1 rpg) in only 31 minutes and has shown good hustle and the ability to play physical.
He needs to continue to work on his FT shooting, but at least it's trending upwards. I wouldn't be surprised to see him averaging a double-double by seasons end, especially if Varejao gets traded or continues to have injury problems.