Don’t be surprised if you see a lot of Marcus Thornton this year. TT6 calls him Lil’ Buckets, after a night of torrid shooting earlier this preseason, when he seemed to be making it rain buckets. A second round pick, yes, but not afraid to shoot, and boy can he. The man has a quick release, a sweet motion, and finds the bottom of the net more than most other cats in Creole. He gives me that warm kind of feeling inside.
Tonight, against the Pacers, he got his second start of the preseason. And it went well. He had 19 points in 34 minutes of playing time, along with 7 boards, 2 assists, and only 1 turnover, and 2 fouls. He also had a plus/minus of +5. Not bad for a rookie.
He started off a bit tentative, and seemed not always confident about where he should be, spacing-wise. But then a Pacer goaltend gave him a basket, and after that, he seemed to move with a bit more purpose. He started to find his spots better on the floor, and when his defender wouldn’t give him the room to shoot, he was aggressive going to the basket, and got the calls. Smart play.
The supposed weakness of his NBA game, defense? His main opponent, Dahntay Jones, who aside for being known for having parents that can’t spell, is pretty much only known for being rough on CP last year in the playoffs. (He was jeered and booed by the home crowd, who won’t forgive or forget.) Jones managed to get a couple open cutters under the basket to make his statline look decent, but had a -14 plus/minus. His other assignment, Brandon Rush, was 1-4 from the lane. I can live with both stats.
Byron Scott isn’t known for playing rookies. But he’d be absolutely out of his gourd to not play Lil’ Buckets. A lot.