The Cleveland Cavaliers squeaked their way to a narrow victory over the Washington Generals the other night...I mean the Wizards. The Cavs were primarily lead by star point man Kyrie Irving but I would like to focus on something I seen in the midst of the absence of, "The Wild-Thing" Anderson Varejao and that has been the development of his young front court running mate Tristan Thompson Who has shown signs of solid play and a legit contributing big man. Now he of course still has a lot to improve upon, but I have seen growth none the less.
Focusing in on Tristan "Double T" Thompson, who has recorded a double, double over the last 4 games. Tristan Has been averaging; 13 points , 12.75 rebounds, along with 1.5 blocks , shooting exactly 50% from the floor and around 70% from the stripe. The kid has been doing his thing out there. I think this is just about what the Cavs will need from Tristan on a night to night basis. I believe this is who he is at least from a statistical standpoint, maybe he can up the PPG. by a point or 2 but all the other stats over the 4 game sample should be a regular night for him. I think ultimately he should be a 15 point per scorer , and bring in around 13 boards and 2 blocks. Can he overachieve absolutely, would you maybe expect more from 4th overall pick in the draft...sure, but I think we all knew that Tristan at best was an all-star caliber player and not a superstar or ground breaking player. So I don't know about anyone else but I would be ecstatic if Tristan produced those numbers consistently for the remainder of his career.
Tristan has been seeing the game better from a cerebral standpoint. His shots are not rushed, he is getting in good defensive position, making better decisions. On several occasions I have seen him take his time, get 2 or 3 dig dribbles in the post and turn over his right or left shoulder and put up his bread and butter move which is that baby jump hook. I never knew he could consistently go to that move until this year. Normally he bangs and bangs and forces up a two handed dunk attempt, which often gets blocked. I have even seen him face up some games, throw the jab and knock down the soft jumper. If he adds a couple more offensive moves and learns how to dunk with 1 hand he will be ok. On the defensive end he is still getting some careless fouls here and there but you can see he's learning where to be and how defensive rotation works in the NBA. He has always could block shots and that has not changed, team still have to account for him after getting pass the initial defender as he is a monster when it comes to weak side help.
Moral of the story is Tristan has been improving his game, and become a more well rounded big for the Cavs. He is also doing at a time when it could not have been needed more in the absence of Andy with his knee injury. Now the real question is can he keep this up when Andy returns. Can the Cavs really have 2 guys averaging a double, double that would be 20 + rebounds and points coming from the front court alone...we can only hope.