Tristan Thompson’s first season in the NBA was overshadowed by Kyrie Irving. That is what happens when you play with the rookie of the year, but as a fellow top-5 pick, Thompson is obviously expected to contribute as well.
Most rookie seasons are full of inconsistency and Thompson was no exception, but it is pretty clear the Cleveland Cavaliers are willing to deal with the growing pains in hopes that he will be a strong power forward sooner rather than later.
Thompson has put in some very solid minutes this preseason. Most notably this past weekend against the Washington Wizards, Thompson scored 18 points on 6-for-11 shooting and added 10 rebounds and 4 blocks in 24 minutes. It is just preseason, but it is clear that the hard work Thompson put in during the offseason is really paying off.
The summer is what makes you in terms of the NBA,” Thompson said. “This summer I wanted to put in a lot of time getting stronger and continuing to work on my craft, especially in the post. Big men really only need two or three shots—the hook shot left and right, the turn-and-face and a counter. I worked on that all summer, and I’m going to be doing it in the game.
Thompson put on 15 pounds of muscle and diversified his skill set, setting the stage for a brighter NBA future. He has the capability to be part of the Cavs’ rise from the depths along with Irving, instead of just being thought of as “the other guy they got in the 2011 Draft.”
Thompson has a chance to start this year, but he says he is comfortable with any role as long as the Cavs are winning.
It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish,” Thompson said. “I want to do whatever it takes to win, so if coach wants me to start, so be it. I’ll accept that role, but if he wants me to come off the bench and be a spark, I have no problem with that. I did that last year. At the end of the day, winning trumps everything.
Tristan Thompson seems to be on the right track to be a valuable part of the Cavaliers franchise, but his sophomore season is going to be a solid indicator of what the future has in store.
Will Tristan Thompson have a sophomore surge? Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Twitter by using the hashtag #CavsDay.