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Tristan Thompson’s free throw percentage up 20 points right handed

Sep 2, 2013, 8:59 AM EDT

BASKETBALL-QUALIFIER-BRA-CAN Getty Images

Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson is left handed… and not a terribly good shooter that way. Last season he shot 39.7 percent beyond five feet from the rim and 60.8 percent from the free throw line left handed.

Thompson went with a radical fix: start to shoot right handed.

Don’t laugh — it’s working.

Through his first nine games with the Canadian National Team this summer (they had tune ups and are now competing in the FIBA Americas tournament) Thompson is shooting 78 percent from the free throw line, notes Michael Grange of Rogers Sports Net in Canada.

Small sample size alert (just 37 attempts), but this is a good sign.

Thompson is going to have competition for minutes at the four spot with No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett, and a healthier Anderson Varejao (knee), plus in the paint there will be Andrew Bynum (if healthy) and Tyler Zeller.

Thompson has the athleticism and skills to be a key part of a rebuilding Cavaliers team, if he starts knocking down shots at a higher rate and hits his free throws like that, it’s going to be hard for Mike Brown to keep him off the court. And that’s a good thing in Cleveland.

  1. saint1997 - Sep 2, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    This kid is criminally underrated. A dominant rebounder to pair next to Kyrie and could be a force for years to come

    • scotteharris - Sep 2, 2013 at 10:53 AM

      Tristan Thompson ranked 24th in rebound rate last year. That’s not “dominant”

      • saint1997 - Sep 7, 2013 at 4:31 AM

        He was top 5 in O-Rebounds, that is. Try again later

    • ProBasketballPundit - Sep 2, 2013 at 3:40 PM

      Tristan & Kyrie have been together for a couple years and haven’t finished in the top 20 on offense or top 25 on defense. That’s not a force. They need improvement to even be mediocre.

      • saint1997 - Sep 2, 2013 at 10:56 PM

        Oh come off it now. They haven’t played together very long, both are very young and only this year do they have what can be considered talent around them. They will put it together and then everyone can have tangible proof as to just how little you understand about basketball

    • ProBasketballPundit - Sep 2, 2013 at 10:58 PM

      IF they improve this season it will be because Mike Brown taught them defense. That IS something he’s known for so i wouldn’t be surprised to see 40 wins or so.

  2. stephenolszewski - Sep 2, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    Tristan is a big hustle points guy he has improved his post game, him and Bynum down low better be a dominant force rebounding wise. Then you have Andy coming off the bench. If everyone stays healthy this could be a very good team, but that’s a big if

    • anhdazman - Sep 3, 2013 at 6:56 AM

      Bynum down low he says! Hahaha. More like the bottom of the bench nursing another injury.

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