July 24, 2014

Tristan Thompson’s free throw shooting up with Team Canada

One of the more peculiar developments of the NBA offseason has been the switch of Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson to become a right-handed shooter. Previously, the University of Texas product shot with his left hand. Not anymore, as we learned last month.

Sunday afternoon, Rogers Sportsnet’s Michael Grange lit up the NBA world with this tweet: “Update: Tristan Thompson is now 29/37 (78%) FTs right-handed over nine games. Was 58% career as a lefty.”

Those Thompson stats are from the ongoing competitions with Team Canada over the offseason. The fact that Thompson and second-year Magic forward Andrew Nicholson have been the main offensive options for the Canadians shows why they’ve struggled this summer. [Edit: Team Canada isn't winless in the current FIBA Americas, as many commenters pointed out.]

As I’ve marked before, the 22-year-old Thompson shot just 48.7% from the free throw line in 36 collegiate games. He actually did worse to start his NBA career, shooting just 43.8% from the line in his first 25 games, followed by 62.2% in the final 35 games of his rookie season. He then shot 60.8% his sophomore season in all 82 contests.

If Thompson can improve his foul shooting and mid-range accuracy, he could take a major leap this coming season for the Cavs. Back in late July, I wrote about Thompson’s long-term potential after Mike Brown raved about his work ethic. Here’s what I ended with, to note how he’s a sleeper for some massive improvement in 2013-14:

“But don’t sleep on the University of Texas product. He nearly averaged a double-double last season. While his minutes could decrease from the 31.3 he averaged per game last year, he’s only likely going to become more and more efficient. And the high praise of his work ethic from his coach only seems to back up his long-term potential. He’s going to be fun to watch.”

[Related: Behold: Tristan Thompson 2.0]

  • maxfnmloans

    when I first read the headline, I was wondering how a free throw could even develop a heroin addiction

  • Harv 21

    Certainly a better explanation of why Team Canada is winless than what Jacob offered.

  • TSR3000

    ” Previously, the fellow Brampton, Ontario, native as No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett also shot with his left hand.”

    This sentence is brutal.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Jacob’s working on labor day for God’s sake cut him some slack!!!

  • wS

    What the heck? Team Canada is not winless. It is 2-1 as of today at the Fiba Americas. Beat Brazil yesterday by 30.
    Geez just a little respect would be nice. We

    Even in exhibition leading up we were 2-4. With most of the losses close and because we were playing the bench trying to figure how to cut the roster down.
    We are even missing 5-6 nba players too

  • dre day

    Canada is 2-1 at fiba America’s!

  • BigDawg703

    But how is Anthony Bennett doing with Team Canada?
    Is Anthony Bennett doing with Team Canada?
    Does Anthony Bennett do?
    And does he play basketball for Team Canada?

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Bennett is recovering from an injury…so he isn’t playing right now…but he will play for Canada moving forward