Tristan Thompson

In the nine games that Varejao has missed with a bruised right knee, Thompson has begun to blossom into a regular solid contributor for the Cavaliers at power forward. He’s averaging 13.2 points and 12.9 rebounds over those nine games, and Saturday against Houston he logged his career-high in rebounds when he snagged 16.

All are better than his season averages of 9.6 points and 9.0 rebounds that includes games in which Varejao has played.

And overall, he’s been more active, more steady for the Cavaliers.

“The way he’s playing right now, if Andy were healthy we’d be that much better,” Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said.

– Reported by Jodie Valade of theĀ Cleveland Plain Dealer