While Dwyane Wade will rest against the Washington Wizards Sunday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers will have Tristan Thompson in the lineup. Thompson played seven minutes in the first half of Saturday’s game against the Utah Jazz, after sitting out Thursday’s game with knee service.
Tyronn Lue announced the availability of Thompson prior to Sunday’s game:
Ty Lue says Dwyane Wade is resting tonight vs. WAS but Tristan Thompson will play and get 14-15 minutes.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) December 17, 2017
This is really good news for the progress of Thompson’s recovery. It appeared as though he may have been labored towards the end of his shift against the Jazz, or experiencing some discomfort. With his recovery process being complicated and lengthy, it seemed like a safe assumption that he would not be playing against Washington.
For Thompson to not only play, but receive an increased minute load is a tremendous sign that he is returning to form. Thompson showed off some of what makes him valuable against the Jazz, converting two lobs and adding a block and a steal in just seven minutes of play.
While the Cavs have been slightly better lately, they still are just 27th in the league in defensive efficiency. When he isn’t dealing with pain, Thompson is arguably the best defensive player on their roster and their lone proven center. Getting him back healthy would be a huge boost to a Cleveland team that is rounding into form.