Scoring has never been a problem for Sacramento Kings guard Marcus Thornton.
Unfortunately, preventing the opposition from doing the same, has been.
It’s not as if Thornton doesn’t have the size or athletic ability to hang with many shooting guard’s in the NBA, rather, Thornton often has lapses on defense that result in him missing an assignment, leaving a defender, getting caught in a screen or simply not putting a full effort into defending his man.
The best offense starts with defense, something head coach Mike Malone knows very well, which is why he’s challenged Thornton to be a better defender, suggesting that while it’s great if you can score 20 points, it doesn’t mean that much if you’re giving up 20 on your end.
Per the Sacramento Bee:
Marcus can get buckets. I challenged Marcus … “You can’t come in the game and get 20 and give up 20.” But he has a skill. He can change the course of a game like that.
With the addition of both Ben McLemore and Greivis Vasquez, playing time in the backcourt will be at a bigger crunch than last year and Malone, unlike many rookie head coaches doesn’t appear to be the type to be easily influenced by a player. If Thornton isn’t putting in the work, he’s not going to see the floor time.