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the other 29 edition 63 – Monday, May 23, 2016 8:30 EST – Jurassic Park, the 6ix
Biyombo’s 26-rebound performance Saturday tied a record for the most rebounds in a playoff game since 1984. It was a Raptor’s franchise record for rebounds in a game; eclipsing his own previous record of 25 set earlier this year. Now we already knew Biz was going to get huge contract offers this summer before this monster game, but this is the ECF, and when players have coming-out parties like this the money flows like Niagara Falls. Just ask Tristan Thompson, Biyombo’s counterpart and our key matchup for tonight.
Thompson has had a very solid beginning to his NBA career. After being drafted 4th overall in the 2011 NBA draft (one ahead of JV; three ahead of Biz) Thompson settled in quickly as a low-touch, high-efficiency player. He’s defensive minded, and does a lot of the little things not recorded on the stat sheet. The ‘big’ from Brampton put up solid numbers over his first four years of 10.1P/8.4R. He’s known for being an extremely strong offensive rebounder – he was second in the league in 12/13 and 15/16 in total offensive boards, and always top 5.
2014/15 was Thompson’s first contract year, as his rookie deal was expiring. It was his first year with new all-star teammates LeBron James and Kevin Love. His scoring numbers dropped by about 3 PPG; however, he has increased his FG% by over 10% during the past two years. Last year he averaged 8.5P/8.0R on 26.8 MPG. Tris battled Timofey Mozgov for minutes and the starting centre job for months after the Cavs landed the Russian mid-season; Thompson eventually won the starting role moving into the playoffs. Then when Kevin Love went down in the first round to a separated shoulder, Tristan really broke outaveraging 9.6P/10.8 rebounds in 36.4 MPG during the Cav’s run to the Finals.
Thompson figured all that deserved him a max contract that would have been worth $94 million over five years. Cavs GM Dan Gilbert disagreed and a stalemate ensued over the following four months that caused Tristan to not only miss training camp and the pre-season, but most importantly (to us) the FIBA Americas tournament. Canada narrowly lost out on qualifying to Rio and it’s very safe to say that had Thompson played Canada would have made it to the Olympics. Here’s hoping Tristan suits up and plays big this summer to get us in on our final chance.
October 22, 2015 Thompson signeda 5 yr/$82 million deal with the Cavs; that’s the same deal Draymond Green (a now all-star) signed with the Dubs. So, a strong rebounder, who needs few offensive touches and does all the little things. Sound familiar? We all really want the Raps to re-sign Biz, and hopefully they will. But with big money already committed to Kyle, DeMarre, JV and Terrence-freakin’-Ross, even with the new TV money, the Raps are going to be hard pressed to sign DeMar to his max deal and still have money to sign Biz to approximately $15 million per season. Alright Masai, time for a little more magic, bud.
So we’ll see tonight if game 3 was simply a tiny dent in Cleveland’s armour, or if we have a real chance here. The home crowd did its part Saturday the entire game, and there were times you could not even hear the whistle. But as predicted, beating Cleveland takes top notch performances from both DeMar and Kyle, and/and/and. Biz was great and CoJo was great and Kyrie was terrible and Love was even worse. Let’s square this up!