What a rollercoaster it’s been for Tristan Thompson in the last couple of years. Once a man that was praised for his ability on the court, Tristan has been derailed by off-court issues and his lack of production on the court.
Thompson was drafted what seems like yesterday, but in reality was seven years ago! Thompson made an immediate impact for the Cavs and averaged double digits in scoring during his second and third year in the league. Once LeBron James came back to Cleveland, Thompson’s numbers dropped and never returned to his career highs.
Thompson was one of the only players ever that didn’t get better with James on his team. It seemed like Thompson had no offense anymore and he resorted to rebounding as his way to contribute to the team. We all know about Thompson’s incredible performances during the 2016 championship run when he averaged 4.1 offensive rebounds a game.
The downfall, however, came when Thompson’s rebounding ability started to falter. It’s no surprise that he stopped averaging the offensive rebounds per game but his overall rebounds per game quickly disappeared.
In Thompson’s first stint in the playoffs, he averaged 10.8 rebounds per game. In the 2018 playoffs, Thompson averaged 5.9 rebounds per game. The sudden drop in production is an enigma to many and no one knows why he suddenly became a liability on the court.
With James now gone, will Thompson make a comeback? Double T is only 27 years old and I believe he will make a comeback. Thompson looks sharp so far in the preseason and with the offense not running through James, Thompson will be more comfortable on the court.
Thompson has played in 519 games so far in his career and has started in 338 games. Expect Thompson to start every game this season and expect his numbers to show that. Many panicked that Thompson was over the hill already when he averaged 5.8 points per game this season, but you have to realize that he only started 22 of the career-low 53 games that he played in.
Thompson has a good chance to average a double-double this season playing alongside Kevin Love. It will be exciting to see how Thompson reacts and adapts to this season.