Let me start out by saying that I am a fan of Marcus Thornton and I like his game. There is no other player I want with the ball in the 4th qtr or taking the big shot than MT23. This is not an endorsement to trade Thornton, or bench him, just a closer look at Thornton and his impact on why the Kings are currently dead last in the league in assisted basket percentage and assists. For the Kings to get better in those areas, Thornton has to look to get his teammates the ball when the situation presents itself. Coming off a huge comeback victory, and rebirth and hope with Kieth Smart, it might seem strange to take a critical look at the ball movement, but the issues remain. The comeback was primarly lead by controlling the boards on both ends, getting out and running (a great sign moving forward, run, run, run), and the Bucks going cold on offense, but the ball movement issues remained. The comeback was outstanding, but the baskets were a ton of 1 on 1 by MT and Evans.
I dont have any inside information on why the Hornets would have traded Thornton, but I took a closer look at his 2nd and final season in the Big Easy. Thorntons shooting numbers were staggering for a player coming off the bench with CP3 controlling the ball. In 46 games, MT23 took almost 10 shots (FGA or trip to the line) per game. You might be saying, 10 shots per game, whats your point!? Heres the kicker, those shots came in 16 minutes per game, an alarmingly high rate, while getting less than 1 assist per game, thats 10 to 1 in only 16 mpg. Again, I dont have any info on the Hornets, but maybe that amount of gunning at 41 percent was too much.
Jimmer has not been shooting well to start the season, no doubt. But anybody who is watching the games has seen countless times that MT and Evans ignore a wide open Jimmer, with his hand up at the 3 point line, in order to take a contested shot. It got to the point last night, during an epic comeback, while the team and crowd were going nuts, if you looked at Jimmer, he looked almost dejected from being completely ignored on offense. Jimmer was drafted 10th by the Kings for 1 reason, his ability to shoot and score points, mostly from deep. If his teammates dont look for him and get him those shots, then he is just an average backup guard. (probably below average at this point, considering his defense and his mistakes he makes jumping and passing without a plan or picking up his dribble in a double team). My point... when hes open, get him the ball, thats why hes here.
The Kings sit dead last in assist percentage and assists and the offense has been almost unwatchable at times. We just made a coaching change and lets hope that helps, but MT23 has to do his part. Thornton is a gunner, I get that and thats ok, and I also understand that we are missing a ton of open shots, where a pass was made, but no made basket, no assist. But again, Im just asking for MT to do his part, because some of his early season numbers are alarming. In 8 games, 126 fgas, plus about 15 trips to the line, is 140 shot attempts, 17.5 per game vs 13 total assists, 1.6 per game. With the current issues the Kings are having passing the ball, for the Kings to move forward and improve in this area, the Bayou Bomber has to improve on this ratio, 17.5 to 1.6 is just not good enough, not even for the Bomber. Again, I like Thorton, he is a classic 2 guard, and hes almost untouchable to criticize considering the big things hes done is his short time here. Not to mention how easy it is to go after Evans and Big Cuz's current situation, and of course Salmons ( I could write forever about how bad of an idea it was to bring back the dead fish, cant guard 3's, cant hit 3's, doesnt like to pass, is not a leader, awful attitude, bad contract, on and on, but thats another story). Lets just have the Bayou Bomber do his part and look for his teammates just a little more, GO KINGS.