Brooklyn Nets 2013-2014 Player Review: Marcus Thornton

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Digging for an offensive spark for the final stretch of the regular season, GM Billy King had to reach deep into his bag of tricks in order to bring a spark plug to Brooklyn. During the All-Star break, King was able to acquire Sacramento Kings' guard, Marcus Thornton in exchange for Jason Terry and Reggie Evans. Thornton, who averaged 19 points per game in just his third year in the league, wasn't very efficient in his final stint with the Kings. The Nets figured with a change of scenery, Thornton can be a positive asset.

Thornton isn't known for his defense, but rather his offensive ability to catch fire quick. He's a 'heat check' kind of player; when he hits one, you better expect him to fire away on the next possession. This worked for Marcus in a Nets' uniform as he was given the opportunity in which he took advantage of. Jason Kidd didn't hesitate to install Thornton into the lineup as soon as he could.

In his first five games with the team, he averaged 13 points on 43% shooting. While Thornton had the capability to shoot lights out, the first five game stretch was a bit of a foreshadow to his inconsistency throughout the remainder of the season. After his first two games, Thornton scored a total of 25,3,20,4,27 in the following five games. It was a note to keep in mind that he's either really hot, or really not.

Check out the numbers:

2013-2014


Marcus Thornton


Games Played


72

Minutes per game


24.2

True Shooting percentage


51.1

Assist rate


9.3

Turnover rate


8.1

Usage rate


19.6

Rebound rate


6.5

PER


12

Win Shares per 48


.055

Shotchart_1400685411518_medium

Some of the numbers can be a bit misleading because he played the first 46 games of the regular season with the Kings. In a Nets uniform, Thornton averaged 12.3 points per game, while shooting 38% from three, and 41% overall. His higher numbers with the Nets increased his true shooting percentage to 55%.

His offensive rating per 100 possessions was his third lowest in his career at 106. As you see above, his estimated points per game PER 36 minutes would be hovering around 12, but in his 26 regular season games played with the Nets, it's as high as 18.6.

It's no wonder why Kidd wanted Thornton to provide the offensive spark for the offense. Thornton received most of his minutes when the Nets were trailing by 6-10 points or 20+ points. You could call it garbage time, or you could call it a last attempt to make a strong comeback. I always prefer to pick the second option.

You also have to take into consideration that Marcus Thornton didn't get to play with the starters often. Not to discredit the bench, but the looks come easier when you have Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Paul Pierce out there to help stretch the perimeter.

More than half of his shots this season were pull-up or spot-up jump shots in which he converted on 33% of them. Doesn't seem so impressive, but the point is: with more time with the starters, the shots would've came a little easier for Thornton, rather than generating offense for the second unit on mostly isolations.

Since joining the team, the Nets were 17-9 when Thornton was active during the regular season.

Favorite moment of the season:

The game wasn't of much importance, but in just his fifth game as a Net, Marcus Thornton scored 15 straight points and finished with 20 points on 8-13 shooting. As you watch this video, you'll see how fast he can heat up (hence the nickname 'Microwave'), but also how sneaky he can be at times. Sneaky? Fast forward to 0:25 and 0:35, and you'll see how he has the ability to fool defenders and hustle to the ball, in order to get the Nets some extra buckets. A lot of this has to do with his quickness and awareness to spot the ball at all times on offense and defense.

This wasn't hit best game as a Net (that came two games later), but this video is a prime example of what Thornton is capable of bringing to the table.

Salary situation:

Marcus Thornton has one year remaining on his contract with the Brooklyn Nets. He will get paid a little over $8 million for the 2014-2015 season.

He needs to?

Be more consistent. As it's stated, Marcus Thornton can be a very dangerous weapon for the Nets if he stays consistent with his jump shot. Late in the season, when Thornton's jump shots weren't falling, we saw him start to pump-fake and drive to the hole more often. That's what he needs. Opposed to just chucking up bombs right out of the gate, he should try to get into a rhythm offensively by attacking the hoop. With that, defenders won't play him so tight around the perimeter.

In the future...

He'll need more time come playoff time in order for him to be a factor. In the 12 playoff games, Thornton received over 15 minutes in only four games. It's no coincidence that he scored 10 or more points in three out of four of those games. It seemed like when he missed his first few shots, his night was over. His defense isn't the best, so if his shots aren't falling, he's pretty much a liability.

Round Two against Miami:

Games One and Two (combined):  38 minutes: 21 points on 10-19 shooting.

Games Three, Four, and Five: 11 minutes: four points on 1-6 shooting. Played zero minutes in Game Three.

Final Grade: B

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