We are all just occupying it from time to time.
By the end of a scrappily-fought road loss to the Cavs, Lil Buckets owned two Hornets franchise records and tied the rookie scoring mark with 37 points. According to the official Hornets blog, he set the record for points in a quarter (23) and points off the bench (37). I think he had the first 19 or so of those second quarter points in like six minutes. Damn, I had a great time watching him, but I could not say I was surprised. I’ve believed something like this was coming since training camp. You can’t teach a pure instinct for scoring, you can’t break it down and you can’t quantify it. But it’s what this kid has. Is he streaky? Sure. Is he undersized? Whatever. Ask Chris Paul and the five Cavs on the floor who couldn’t stop Buckets tonight how that’s going.
At one point, someone on Twitter mentioned that they weren’t watching the game, just looking at the boxscore, and asked how Thornton was scoring. I just sort of laughed. Because “how was he not scoring?” was more the question. Threes, mid-range jumpers, getting to the rim, and-1s, free throws, steals, fast breaks. I don’t think he had a dunk, but at 37 points, who even cares? His team didn’t come away with the win, but he outscored LeBron James by 17 in his own building.
It’s not exactly a big secret that Buckets has become my favorite Hornet. There’s just one way to sum up how much I love his game, and it is to say this: he is the only Hornets player who can make me feel great after a loss. Period. Ever. You’re sitting here like, “Chris Paul is out, we probably aren’t going to make the playoffs, what’s the point?” And then here comes Marcus Thornton, the local kid out of the second round, ballin like he doesn’t know what fear is.
Oh, and I almost forgot.
I said if Thornton dropped 30, we could drop the “Lil” from the “Lil Buckets” nickname. I said it, and I shall not go back on it. Those were big boy points tonight. They deserve a big boy name. Congratulations, Marcus “Buckets” Thornton.