From completely out of the rotation to being reinserted into the starting five, life came at Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson pretty fast.
At practice Monday, after getting blown out in Game 1, Head Coach Tyronn Lue hinted at Thompson getting the nod at center, Dave McMenamin reported.
“Looking at the statistics, over the last three years with at least 30 possessions [defending him], out of all the guys that have guarded Al Horford, Tristan is No. 1 in the league defending Al Horford,” Lue said. “So that’s a good thing, you know?”
Lue is not wrong. It has been evident throughout the season that Kevin Love has immensely struggled while playing center. Thompson would give the Cavaliers extra length, more physicality and a spark on the defensive side of things.
In Game 1, Horford went 8-10 from the field scoring 20 points easily.
Inserting Thompson into the starting five would definitely shake things up for the Cavaliers. This move would likely put Kyle Korver off the bench while keeping JR Smith active in the starting rotation. A front court of LeBron James, Kevin Love and Thompson would give the Cavaliers the versatility to defend Horford and Aaron Baynes.
If Lue makes the adjustment, the Cavs will be much better suited having Thompson in the starting lineup as Love is not a true center. Thompson would bring a tenacious spark that the Cavaliers need being down 0-1 to the Boston Celtics.
“I think as a team, one through five, we’ve got to all play tougher,” Thompson said.
Photo: Getty Images