3 things Cavs fans should be most grateful for regarding Tristan Thompson

Cleveland Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson celebrates in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson celebrates in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green fight for a rebound in Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /

#2: TT made the unglamorous glamorous for the Cavs

The second thing I’m most grateful for involving Thompson’s tenure with the Cavaliers was how he made the unglamorous glamorous. We’re well aware of the offensive rebounding, and just the overall grit and toughness Thompson provided always jumped out in his Cleveland tenure.

To me, though, we often saw TT get his share of loose balls and his effort on 50-50 balls game-in and game-out should never have been discounted. Fans of the Wine and Gold loved that part of his game, which was crucial in postseason play, too. The same went for Thompson always being a reliable interior defender for years (I’m talkin’ to you, Al Horford), and he more than held his own, to a large degree, in switchouts.

What I don’t discount, either, was the unselfishness Thompson had always being such a high level screening presence.

That was whether that was for the likes of Matthew Dellavedova, LeBron, Kyrie, Collin Sexton and/or Darius Garland on-ball, among others. And off-ball, Thompson was so effective in creating space for catch-and-shoot/off-screen threats such as J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver, too.

In that screening realm, in three of the past four seasons, among those that appeared in at least 10 games, Thompson placed seventh or better in screen assists per contest, per NBA.com’s hustle data, with once being third and fifth.

Moreover, when he was able to go, Thompson clearly was known for doing the dirty work for the Wine and Gold. And man, did he do that about as well as anybody, which definitely factored into winning.

Last but not least, we’ll look at third thing I’m so appreciative for when it comes to what Thompson brought for so long for Cleveland.