Tristan Thompson Playing His Way To Big Money
The Cleveland Cavaliers currently have a 3-0 series lead over the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals due to none other than LeBron James. James is the obvious key for the Cavaliers to win this series and hopefully the Finals, especially with Kevin Love out for the postseason and Kyrie Irving banged up. But there is another key to this series that many people tend to over look: Tristan Thompson.
Thompson has stepped in to fill that roll that Love left when he had the shoulder injury in the first round of the playoffs. Thompson has been an absolute monster on the glass, particularly the offensive glass. He is averaging 3.9 offensive rebounds per game, and 5.8 defensive rebounds per game, making his overall rebounds per game 9.8. He is also averaging 8.9 points per game.
Thompson has been the biggest key to the Cavaliers sitting where they are. People thought that the Cavaliers chances to win a championship were diminished when Love went down with the shoulder injury, but Thompson stepped in and said, not so fast. Thompson has dominated the boards for the Cavaliers, which has turned into quick transition points and second chance points.
I think that Thompson is going to get paid big time this summer when he becomes a free agent. I think that Thompson is a fantastic fit in Cleveland because he is a role player who is confident and comfortable with his role as a shot blocker and a rebounder. Thompson won’t clammer for the ball when he isn’t getting it because he knows his boundaries and strengths.
I am not saying that Thompson is a better player than Love is, but I do think he is a fantastic fit for the LeBron James system because he is much more physical than Love is. Love doesn’t bring the physicality, but he brings the offense that Thompson lacks. Love is going to have to show that he deserves the starting spot over Thompson this next season.
Thompson is going to challenge Love for a starting spot coming in 2015-2016, but either way, Thompson is going to get a pretty penny for his marvelous playoff production.