The Cleveland Cavaliers are on pace for the worst record of the 2018-2019 NBA season. They currently sit at 4-18, at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Through 22 games this season, the Cavs are an abysmal 3-8 at home, 1-10 on the road, and 0-4 in their respective conference. Things didn’t get any easier either after the No. 1 seeded Toronto Raptors came into town Saturday night and beat the Cavs 106-95 at Quicken Loans Arena.
Even though the Cavaliers seem to be headed for another disastrous season , it should be noted that not everyone is playing poorly despite LeBron James’ absence. Sure players like J.R. Smith have been a distraction for the team this year without a true leader. Still, there are some bright spots that have come out of this ugly start to the season.
One of the only good things happening to Cleveland this year is the breakout play by center Tristan Thompson. This season he is averaging a career-high in rebounds averaging 11.4 per game which is 2.0 more than any other season in his eighth-year career. He is also averaging 11.4 points per game, his second-most since 2013-2014 when he averaged 11.7 ppg. Not to mention, he’s only been playing better as the season progresses. Over the course of November, Thompson averaged 12.9 points and 11.9 rebounds compared to October when he averaged 7.6 points and 9.3 rebounds. Additionally, in his only game in December against the Raptors, Thompson put up 18 points and 19 rebounds.
Perhaps if the kid from Toronto can continue his unbelievable start to the season then the Cavs could possibly turn their season around and win some games. Now, I’m not saying Thompson is the answer to all their problems, but I do think his play can help them get out of last place in the Eastern Conference. Look for Thompson to continually get better and bring the Cavaliers a little higher in the Eastern Conference.