Whenever Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson comes to town it is a sign for NBA teams to throw a block party.
The Canadian had his shots rejected at a near-historically high level for most of the season as nearly 17 per cent of attempts had been blocked.
For the first two months of the season that percentage was as high as 19 but that number has continually declined since the Cavaliers asked long-time centre Zydrunas Ilgauskas to teach the sophomore forward a few tricks. Entering Monday’s loss to the Heat that total had shrunk to 15.3 per cent.
To put it in perspective, the average NBA player sees his shot blocked 6.3 per cent of the time and only three players have ever averaged more than 15 per cent in a season in which they have taken at least 500 field goal attempts including the current titleholder, Danny Fortson, who recorded a 16.7 per cent rejection rate in 1997-98.
For his part, Thompson almost blocks a shot per game to protect the rim so he is well aware that these things happen.
“There’s no need to be embarrassed,” Thompson told the Wall Street Journal.
Thompson isn’t the only one who has floated over the 15 per cent mark this season as Charlotte Bobcats rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has passed him on the low end of the totem pole with a 15.7 per cent rate.
While Cavaliers forward is still learning how to score on the court it soudns as things go much smoother off the hardwood.
“I got a girlfriend,” said Thompson, who added that he asked her out only once. “Most women are interested in me, because I have dimples and I’m Canadian.”