Cleveland Cavaliers: 3 biggest early-season surprises of 2019-2020

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Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers Tristan Thompson (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

1. TT, aka the Cavs’ best player

Say what you want about Tristan Thompson, but this one thing is true: The man is an offensive rebounding maven. Now, he’s upped his game to become a double-double machine.

He’s now the Cavs’ best two-way player and often leads the team in scoring. Thompson is averaging 16.5 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. He’s currently pulling down 4.8 boards per night on the offensive side, which is the best clip of his career.

Granted, the season is 10-games old, but with the way TT is going, he just might be able to maintain this pace.

Thompson has spent the past couple of offseason improving his dribbling, and the touch on some of his shots looks as impressive as anyone’s.

Even when he doesn’t have the ball, he’s contributing on offense. He’s averaging 5.6 screens per game, and 12.3 points per contest are created off those picks. That ranks Thompson in the top five of the NBA, according to Basketball Insider’s Spencer Davies.

Trade talk will only grow as Thompson plays the best statistical basketball of his career in a walk year.

The Cavs have a lot of young players, but having someone who’s been through the trenches and can call himself an NBA champion has to make a difference. Remember, the season is still early. Darius Garland and Kevin Porter have no idea how a long season can wear on. Collin Sexton‘s made it through one campaign, but he has no idea what it is to win on back-to-back nights in February.

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