Tristan Thompson’s best skill as an NBA player is probably his offensive rebounding. And Cavs coach Tyronn Lue has an easy explanation for what makes it great.
"He treats every shot like a miss," Lue said per cleveland.com. "Even when Kyle Korver is shooting the basketball or even when Kyle Korver is at the free throw line. He's crashing the glass every single shot.
"His motor is unbelievable,” Lue added. “He's one of the guys that can crash from the perimeter and still get back on the defensive end. He treats every shot like a miss and he has the motor to crash the glass and also get back on defense."
This checks out:
Plays like this - where Thompson picks up an offensive rebound and scores or grabs the board and passes it to a teammate who restarts the Cavs’ offense - are a common occurrence. In the postseason, Thompson is second in offensive rebounds per game and first among players still active. In the regular season, he was tied for fifth with Clippers center DeAndre Jordan at 3.7 per game.
The reason Thompson’s rebounding is so valuable for a team like that Cavs is that it gives players like LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love another chance to score. Combine that with the motor Lue mentions — plus, Thompson said that he studies film of players to know what angle their shot will take off the glass — and you have a player that’s irreplaceable for the Cavs. A guy like Thompson, who rebounds while still playing stout defense, is exactly what Cleveland needs at center; as it turns out, Thompson is worth every penny of his $82 million contract.