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#pounditTuesday, October 19, 2021

Tristan Thompson seems to think LeBron still plays for Cavs

Tristan Thompson

Almost no one would give the Cavaliers a chance to repeat as Eastern Conference champions this upcoming season, and rightfully so. With LeBron James having left and both the Celtics and Raptors improving, the Cavs will have to fight just to reach the playoffs.

Tristan Thompson doesn’t see it that way.

While speaking with reporters on Thursday, Thompson was blatantly annoyed with the notion that the Cavs will fade into oblivion without LeBron. He feels Cleveland is the team to beat in the East until future notice, and he illustrated his point by noting how the other the top teams in the conference fared last season.

Technically, he’s right — emphasis on the “technically.”

With the return of Gordon Hayward, Kyrie Irving seemingly healthy, and Jayson Tatum looking like a star in the making, the Cavs are nowhere near Boston’s level in terms of talent. They’re also well behind the Raptors, 76ers and Pacers, to name a few. If you put any stock into Las Vegas win totals, you’ll notice the Cavs are expected to win around 30 games.

Draymond Green can tell you that Thompson is still fighting — literally — like Cleveland has a chance to get back to the Finals, but it’s just not happening. While you have to admire him for trying to stay positive and take on a leadership role, Thompson must have an idea of what the upcoming season is going to look like.

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