Could Tristan Thompson spurn the sophomore slump for the sophomore jump? As the Cleveland Cavaliers count down the days until they descend upon Cleveland Clinic Courts, one player who will be the subject of plenty of analysis is the second-year power forward.
Hoopsworld’s Stephen Brotherston lists Thompson as one of his six players who are “primed” for a breakout campagin in 2012-13 due to a combination of development and increased playing time.
“Rookie power forward Tristan Thompson was brought along quietly by the Cavaliers,” writes Brotherston, ”playing behind the two-time All-Star Antawn Jamison and in the shadow of first overall pick Kyrie Irving, but over the season, Thompson proved his game was getting better fast. Typical rookie season numbers of 8.2 points and 6.5 rebounds and a block in 23.5 minutes obscured his steadily increasing minutes and production.
The Cavaliers let Jamison leave in free agency to free up minutes for the fourth overall pick in 2011 draft and Thompson will get his chance to prove the Cavaliers’ brass were right when they selected him ahead of draft prospects Jonas Valanciunas and [Bismack] Biyombo. If he can keep developing at his rookie pace, Thompson’s sophomore season will be a breakout year.”
Thompson is one of the many players who were listed as not being guaranteed a starting spot by head coach Byron Scott. He has reportedly spent a lot of off-season time inside the Cavaliers’ training facility, working on his post game as well as his offensive arsenal away from the hoop. How this translates to the floor during his second season in the league remains to be seen.