Tristan Thompson’s free throw percentage up 20 points right handed

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Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson is left handed… and not a terribly good shooter that way. Last season he shot 39.7 percent beyond five feet from the rim and 60.8 percent from the free throw line left handed.

Thompson went with a radical fix: start to shoot right handed.

Don’t laugh — it’s working.

Through his first nine games with the Canadian National Team this summer (they had tune ups and are now competing in the FIBA Americas tournament) Thompson is shooting 78 percent from the free throw line, notes Michael Grange of Rogers Sports Net in Canada.

Small sample size alert (just 37 attempts), but this is a good sign.

Thompson is going to have competition for minutes at the four spot with No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett, and a healthier Anderson Varejao (knee), plus in the paint there will be Andrew Bynum (if healthy) and Tyler Zeller.

Thompson has the athleticism and skills to be a key part of a rebuilding Cavaliers team, if he starts knocking down shots at a higher rate and hits his free throws like that, it’s going to be hard for Mike Brown to keep him off the court. And that’s a good thing in Cleveland.