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Tristan Thompson says switching shooting hands is working out well

Sep 19, 2013, 5:07 PM EDT

Tristan Thompson, Kyrie Irving AP

It’s one of the more bizarre off-season story lines — Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson decided to switch his shooting hands. His first two seasons in the league he has been left handed and last season he shot 48 percent overall, 39.7 percent beyond five feet from the rim and 60.8 percent from the free throw line.

So he decided to become a right-handed shooter.

Laugh if you want but he was part of the Canadian national team for the FIBA Americas tournament and he shot 78 percent from the free throw line.

Back in Cleveland working out for the season, Thompson says the historic change — nobody can remember a player doing this — is going well, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

“I wouldn’t say it’s easy, but I think the transition is going more smoothly than one might assume, which probably means I was always right-handed and just never knew, probably because I lived in Canada,” he said, which isn’t quite as crazy as it sounds.

“I started playing basketball at such a late age,” said Thompson, who didn’t take basketball seriously until he was 12 or 13. “In America, you start playing when you’re 5 years old.”

Why do I feel like this is the sword fight scene in “The Princess Bride.”? Remember, first Inigo Montoya says he has bad news for the guy he’s losing the fight to, that he’s not really left handed. Then as Montoya gains the upper hand Westley says he’s not left handed either?

Who’s next? Anthony Bennett is young, maybe they can make him a lefty.

If Thompson can shoot well around the rim with both hand and show a little more consistency from distance, it will be a big step forward. The Cavaliers have the playoffs as their goal this year and Thompson taking a big step forward is needed for that.

Also a healthy Andrew Bynum, but that’s another issue.

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