Marcus Thornton scores 20 in return

February, 3, 2012

Marcus Thornton returned to the lineup for the Sacramento Kings after missing the better part of five games with a bruised left quad, and he didn't miss a beat, scoring 20 points (including 10-for-12 for the free throw line) in 41 minutes in a win over the Portland Trail Blazers. This development would seem to make Jimmer Fredette and Isaiah Thomas obsolete in fantasy leagues, at least for the immediate future, since Thornton and Tyreke Evans are going to play a ton of minutes in the backcourt.

Thornton's strength has never been his shooting percentage, so I'm choosing to go easy on the fact that he was 4-for-13 from the field. More important is that he made two 3s and grabbed two steals, numbers that are pretty much in line with what he does on a regular basis. Those numbers are the reason he's a good fantasy player, so it's nice to see him put them up his first night back from being hurt.

Looking Back

Greivis Vasquez filled in Jarrett Jack at point guard (who was out with a sore knee) for the New Orleans Hornets. It's hard to say how much time Jack will miss, but in the short term, Vasquez had been playing really well off the bench anyway, so he's probably worth picking up. He scored 16 points on 7-for-14 shooting from the floor to go along with five assists and two steals in the loss to the San Antonio Spurs; obviously, those numbers would make him fantasy worthy even in the deepest leagues.

• With both Devin Harris and Earl Watson out for the Utah Jazz, long-forgotten fantasy star Jamaal Tinsley found some minutes against the Golden State Warriors. Tinsley had played less than one game's worth of minutes for the whole season coming in, so as soon as Harris or Watson gets back, you can go ahead and drop him; still, Tinsley did manage 13 assists and two steals, and if news comes out that Harris and Watson are missing significant time, you might want Tinsley on your roster.

Looking Ahead

• The Toronto Raptors are coming off a crushing defeat at the hands of the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, but it was impressive that Ed Davis managed to post a double-double with two blocks on a night his team scored just 64 points. With Andrea Bargnani out indefinitely, Davis is in line to keep getting big minutes for the foreseeable future, but in the short term, he's got an easy matchup against the Washington Wizards on Friday, so now would be a good time to add him if he's available in your league.

• The New York Knicks face a Boston Celtics team playing some great defense these days, and that makes it tempting to sit Iman Shumpert on Friday. On the other hand, you might want him in your lineup since the Celtics allow 8.7 steals per game and stealing the ball is Shumpert's specialty. If you're looking for offense, you might want to keep Shumpert on the bench, but don't be surprised if he grabs 3-or-more steals.

• You might be tempted to start Chris Duhon for the Orlando Magic since he'll be starting in place of Jameer Nelson, but be warned: He's terrible. Yes, he might have a good game once in a while, but he's going to hurt you more than he'll help you in the long run. If you are absolutely desperate for assists, that's the only reason you might consider getting him into your lineup.

• If you need a nice combination of points, rebounds, and field goal percentage, you might want to try Minnesota Timberwolves backup Nikola Pekovic. Pekovic is averaging 12.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 58 percent shooting over his past five games and is going up against the awful New Jersey Nets defense on Friday.



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