Tristan Thompson, Kyrie Irving

Cavs’ Tristan Thompson decided to switch shooting hand


There are many disadvantages to being left-handed, something both your’s truly and Cleveland Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson are well aware of. The latter  decided to do something about it, though, as he’s apparently decided to make the switch to shooting both jumpers and free-throws with his right hand instead of his left.

The big man showed off his new skillset this week while playing for the Canadian National Team in a friendly scrimmage against Jamaica, but he’d been working on making the switch for awhile according to SportsNet’s Michael Grange.

“I was in Phoenix (last November) and I just started shooting right-handed and got a lot of compliments on it,” Thompson said this week while in training camp with the Canadian national team.

It’s baffling that he could just decide to shoot with his other hand and get compliments on it — nobody wants to watch this writer do anything on the basketball court with his right hand — but Thompson was still uneasy about making the switch to what had previously been considered his off-hand.

“At first I didn’t want to do it. I got to the NBA shooting right-handed, but then I thought about it and at the end of the day I want to be the best player I can be for the Cavaliers and the best player I can be for myself and if that takes me making an adjustment in my jump shot or anything else, why not make that switch?”

The reasons to not make the switch is because that decision is a historic one: Hall of Famer Jerry Colangelo told Grange that  he’s never heard of anyone doing it during his time in basketball and Thompson himself says that he thinks “it’s the first time ever in NBA history” for someone to make the switch mid-career.

Thompson made just 40 percent of his attempts away from the rim this past season (according to HoopsData’s information), a disappointing amount when considering that meant he made just 144 of his 360 attempts from the field. It wasn’t much prettier from the free-throw line, either, as he shot below 60 percent on 282 attempts in his second NBA season.

It’ll be interesting to see what sort of impact switching hands will have on Thompson’s game at the NBA level, but he says it’s made him much more confident in his shooting ability. And, as long as that shooting ability doesn’t continue to float around 40 percent from the field, everyone should benefit from Thompson’s decision to leave the lefties.

Greg Smith fails physical, will not join Pelicans

Greg Smith
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With both starter Omer Asik and backup Alexis Ajinca out injured for the rest of the preseason (and maybe a little longer), the Pelicans are looking for a center to put next to Anthony Davis for a stretch. That could include a handful of regular season games.

Greg Smith was going to be that man, but the 24-year-old failed his physical, reports the Times-Picayune.

The New Orleans Pelicans were set to sign power forward Greg Smith, but sources said Friday night that he failed his physical examination and will not be joining the team.

And so the search goes on.

The problem is, there are not quality big men still out there on the market, there is a limited supply and just about anyone worth having is spoken for. A few with non-guaranteed contracts may be waived as we get closer to the end of training camps, but that is likely a couple of weeks away.

With both Asik and Ajinca expected back in a few weeks, it’s not worth making a trade or some big move to bring in a center, the Pelicans are just going to have to live with what is out there.

Kevin Durant with huge dunk on visiting Fenerbahce Ulker

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Welcome to America, Fenerbahce Ulker.

The Turkish powerhouse was in America playing some exhibition games this preseason, and they got a first-hand reminder that Kevin Durant is back. KD had 13 points in the Thunder’s easy 111-81 win.

Not to be outdone, Russell Westbrook got in on the act.