Lue hints Thompson will come off bench upon return

Tristan Thompson of the Cavaliers likes what he's seen of rookie point guard Collin Sexton.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are expecting Tristan Thompson to return from his strained left calf next week and coach Tyronn Lue sounds as if he will bring the big man off the bench, rather than re-inserting him into the starting lineup.

The Cavs have won 11 straight and are 15-3 with Kevin Love starting at center. The team is in a great rhythm right now, so easing Thompson back in slowly and having him run with the bench is the smart move, given how stellar the offense has looked without him.

“We’ll see,” Lue told reporters about Thompson starting or being a reserve. “It’s been our routine and guys are getting in a pretty good rhythm putting in the work. Guys are coming in, getting their shots up, getting their treatment and getting out.

“It’s really about the guys that are putting in the work. They’ve been putting in the work every single day, on off days they come in and continue to work. Right now we’re going to keep our same flow and stay with it. Hey, we’re 15-3 with Kevin starting at center.”

Thompson has been out of action since the start of November. He’s played in eight games this season (five starts) and is averaging 4.4 points and 6.4 rebounds.

The Cavs’ spacing becomes virtually non-existent when Thompson is on the floor with LeBron James. Love has been flourishing in his role and taking full advantage of the increased floor spacing in Thompson’s absence.

Over Love’s last 15 games, he’s putting up 19.3 points while shooting 49.5 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from three. Opposing centers, while they have bullied Love in the post, have not been able to recover to the three-point line and contest Love’s shots — a big reason why Lue wants to stick with the current lineup.

7 Comments on "Lue hints Thompson will come off bench upon return"

  1. Tiko Davenport | December 4, 2017 at 12:44 am |

    To have him come off the bench is absolutely idiotic. If you’re asking “why?” My answer is.. no player in the damn league needs to be making 80+ million coming off the bench who doesn’t even score points. They’re literally gonna rely on him grabbing a couple offensive boards & that’s it. So what I’m trying to say is.. TRADE HIM. PERIOD.

    • Tiko, my guess is you are hardly alone among Cavs fans with your thoughts. The Cavs do indeed appear very open to the idea of reading Thompson. My guess is it will be easier once he’s healthy and playing. Stay tuned. – Sam A.

  2. Hey Sam

    Do you think Cavs will be open to trading Thompson or Shumpert along with their own 1st round pick or Brooklyn pick for a star player if a suitable opportunity comes by ? Which might put Cavs on level with Golden State ?

    Or they won’t even look at options for a month or so until the deadline nears so that they will see where they can improve most ?

  3. Aurora Dizon | December 4, 2017 at 3:33 am |

    You cannot trade TT unless he wants to leave and go LA.Remember his backer–Lebron. Please tell them if possible to get a good big and a consistent shooter like Kyrie. Compared to the first 5 of Celtics and Warriors, our first 5 is not good, only unless we become lucky in shooting.We will not win against them. If you agree, please tell mgt. Do not trust IT, he is small.

  4. Nostradamus | December 4, 2017 at 6:52 am |

    Yes, work him back into respectable shape to move him by the deadline. If you can get value for him, great. A Greg Monroe or DeAndre Jordan would be awesome. Or just a straight salary dump for draft picks could work.

    Sam, what kind of return do expect to get for TT in a trade?

  5. Simple question I haven’t seen him on the end of the bench cheering on his teammates is Mr. Kardashian in Hollywood with his woman or his calf won’t allow her to sit?

  6. I don’t know that TT has a spot in the rotation when he comes back. Love has managed against centers (poorly, but managed) and brings better rebounding and scoring. Frye seems to be reinventing himself, playing better defense and doing more on offense than sitting behind the 3pt line.

    I like TT, but the league is changing, and an undersized center with terrible offensive ability (passing, shooting, spacing, etc) isn’t a fit. It’d be one thing if he was a fantastic defender, but he isn’t even in the conversation.

    The Cavs should look to trade him at or before the deadline.

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