In this albatross of a Cleveland Cavaliers season, one that finds a team who spent the past four seasons biding its time until the NBA Finals working in names like Jaron Blossomgame into its rotation, there is at least one good thing happening every night: the play of Tristan Thompson.
One of the last remaining vestiges of the Cavs championship era outside of Kevin Love, Thompson is having by far his finest season as a pro. His averages of 12 points, 11.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game are all career highs, and his rebounding, something he’s always been elite at, has been especially off the charts in this young 2018-2019 NBA season.
Of course, in a season dedicated to recovering from the departure of one LeBron James, all good things seems to come to a swift and depressing end in Cleveland. For Thompson, who has worked incredibly hard to return from a multitude of injuries the past couple of seasons that have left him extremely limited on the court, that means possibly missing a month with a sprained foot after leaving Monday night’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks in the 3rd quarter.
This is a massive blow to a Cavs team already limping along with a 6-21 record and the fourth-worst point differential in the league. Thompson’s rebounding will be sorely missed, as will his defense, especially in the pick and roll. The tank was already on, but with Thompson’s absence, a long season by Lake Erie just got a whole lot longer.