The Tristan Thompson Factor: Thompson Averaging 16.4 Points In Cavs 7 Wins

Tristan Thompson has averaged 15 points and 14.8 rebounds over the last four games. He has also shot just above the league average of 47.5 percent for power forwards by converting 21-of-45 field goals while logging 36.3 minutes per night. Following the 88-82 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday, the Cleveland Cavaliers have compiled a 3-1 record during that stretch.

So could it be as simple as when Thompson plays well the Cavaliers win?


The Canadian left-hander right-hander has scored at least 12 points in each of his team's seven wins this year while averaging 16.4 during those victories. He's also recorded a double-double in six of those seven wins (only non-double-double was 18 points, 9 rebs vs BKN) while collecting an average of 12.9 rebounds. 

To repeat: Thompson is averaging 16.4 points and 12.9 rebounds in each of Cleveland's seven wins this year.

Heading into Tuesday's matchup with the New York Knicks, he's averaging 11.5 and 10.4 on the season.

Additionally, during the Cavaliers' five-game losing streak from November 20-29, Thompson logged 24.4 minutes per night while averaging five points and 7.8 rebounds. During the 13 losses this season in total, he's at 8.8 and nine, respectively (7.6 points and 3.9 rebounds less than the W's).

So root hard for Tristan not just because he is the only Cavaliers player to ever promote Cavs Zine but also because Cleveland wins when he's out there doing his thing for 30-plus minutes.

Breaking Down Cavs Win / Loss Splits For Top-7 Scorers

To put Tristan Thompson's win / loss scoring splits in perspective, I compiled the list below. Each of the Cavs' top seven scorers are highlighted–C.J. Miles (8.4 ppg), Anderson Varejao (8.5 ppg), Andrew Bynum (9.3 ppg), Jarrett Jack (9.6 ppg), Thompson (11.5 ppg), Dion Waiters (14.4 ppg), Kyrie Irving (19.7).

Keep in mind, unfortunately, that the wins and losses aren't an even sample size with the Cavaliers currently sitting at 7-13. Regardless, it is still interesting that Thompson has averaged 46.3 percent more points in the Cavs wins than he has in the losses–which is at least 12 percent higher than any other player on the team. 

Thompson averages 46.3 percent more points in Cavs wins through 20 games

  PPG in Wins  PPG in Losses Point Difference Percent Difference
Kyrie Irving 24.6 17.1 7.5 30.5%
Tristan Thompson 16.4 8.8 7.6 46.3%
Dion Waiters 11.8 15.7 -3.9 -33.1%
Andrew Bynum 11.8 7.8 4 33.9%
Anderson Varejao 9.7 7.8 1.9 19.6%
Jarrett Jack 9.9 9.5 0.4 4.0%
C.J.Miles 7.7 8.9 -1.2 -15.6%

Irving's splits after these first 20 games are also interesting because I thought he would average somewhere around 23 or 24 points heading into the year. Instead he's averaging 19.7, driven in large part by the 17.1 points he's averaging during losses. But despite the 7.5 point difference between the two, it's only a 30 percent difference for Irving.

There are other factors in play for Waiters and Miles that drive the negative number which include playing when the game has been essentially decided that I didn't want to dive too much into that at the moment.

But after 20 games, it feels safe to suggest that if Thompson is scoring 12 or more points on any given night the Cavaliers are probably winning that game. So get dude some touches on Tuesday and let's see if Cleveland can win four of their last five while moving to 7-3 at home.

ICYMI: I wrote about Thompson, Varjeao and Bynum last Thursday at SLAM and that link is here.

Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine,,, and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.