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J.R. Smith says Tristan Thompson is Cleveland’s ‘heart’

For the Cleveland Cavaliers, the search for their identity in the post-LeBron James era continues. Veteran swingman J.R. Smith believes that fellow long-time Cavs servant Tristan Thompson will play a pivotal role in this quest, as Smith believes that Thompson remains to be the team’s heart.

In Smith’s mind, Thompson is one of, if not the most important player on the Cavs team.

“Tristan I think has always been the heart of the team,” Smith said, via Chris Fedor of cleveland.com. “He’s the backbone on offense and defense and really the only shot blocker we’ve had since I’ve been here.”

We have all been witness to the Tristan Thompson of old this season, as the 6-foot-9 big man has been showcasing his vintage form for the Cavs. In 14 appearances for the the team, Thompson is averaging 10.1 points on 54.2 percent from the field, with career-highs in rebounds (10.8), assists (2.1), and steals (0.8).

We can only imagine how the Cavs would fare had Thompson not been around.

Smith went on to say that he considers Thompson to have the most important responsibility on the team, with which he has done an excellent job.

“I think he has the biggest role on the team, being physical every night and bringing it every night, with the intensity and what he’s known for and that’s a hard thing to do, especially as a big,” added Smith. “He’s done a hell of a job with changing lineups. He’s done a hell of a job with that.”

Despite this, the Cavs continue on their downward spiral with only two wins in their first 14 games of the season. Hopefully, Thompson’s leadership is able to somehow get them through this crisis.

The Land