The Kings have very little left to play for. The season has been a disaster from the get-go, with Tyreke Evans struggling through injury all season, the team chafing at DeMarcus Cousins’ immaturity, and the coaching staff looking lost at time. But perhaps the brightest spot outside of Cousins’ play has been the emergence of Marcus Thornton since being acquired from New Orleans for Carl Landry the week of the deadline.
Thornton is averaging 21 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 46% shooting since joining the Kings, finally getting the minutes he’s shown worthy of for two seasons. The result is a deadly combination of inside-outside play and a real finisher for the Kings while Evans has been out. Evans is back now, but Thornton is still the man for the Kings, as he was Sunday, scoring 28 points in the second half for the Kings to knock off the Sixers in Philadelphia, including a ridiculous long bomb to help push the Kings to a near-win in regulation (saved only by a desperation Lou Williams three).
Thornton has a natural scoring ability, he’s just one of those guys. His defense and work ethic is solid, but the question will be in regards to how he’ll perform when the book is out on him. Fortunately for him, he’ll have Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins to create a dynamic, explosive three-headed unit. The Kings may not be in Sacramento much longer, but wherever they wind up, they’ll have a possible star in the making with Thornton if he can keep up this ridiculous pace.
For the Sixers, they’ve now lost their last two and six of their last ten. They blew a huge opportunity Sunday to put some distance between themselves and the Knicks who are plummeting. Have we mentioned Andre Iguodala, their “star,” missed a key free throw late? No one beneath Chicago in the East is finishing the season well.