Links to the Present: January 2, 2012

January 2nd, 2012 by Colin McGowan

“Meanwhile, Thompson is coming off the bench at power forward. The Cavs’ decision to take him at No. 4 raised some eyebrows, as most of the draft websites had Thompson projected somewhere in the 8-12 range. But the only thing being raised nowadays is the opponents’ blood pressure when Thompson leaps to throw back another one of their shots.” [Sam Amico]

“I would add that Tristan is in a perfect position right now. Normally, the fourth pick in the draft would be under a lot of pressure to produce for his team. With Kyrie Irving going to the Cavs in front of him, Thompson has been given a pass of sorts. He isn’t the one SportsCenter is looking for when they pick their 15 second highlight clips. Expectations were pretty low for him this season, at least by those outside the Cavaliers’ offices. He has to be gaining confidence with each passing game.” [Rick at WFNY]

“Hey look, another rookie in the notable performances. Tristan Thompson had his entire arsenal on display against the Nets. He scored 9 points, all of which game in the paint or at the free throw line. He grabbed 3 offensive rebounds, blocked 3 shots, and altered several other shots by simply being huge and jumping crazy high. Tigger was the one Cavaliers that got to the line with some frequency. Unfortunately, Thompson was unable to cash in on those trips to the charity stripe, shooting only 1 of 6 on FTs. I don’t have much advanced analysis on that, he just needs to get better at shooting them. Teams would rather foul him hard and put him at the line than let him dunk. He needs to be able to make them pay for this strategy.” [Conrad Kaczmarek]

Semih Erden has returned to practice. He is in the process of recovering from a broken right thumb he acquired while playing in Turkey during the lockout.