Fantasy Risers: Marcus Thornton Red-Hot In Loss to Cavaliers

Kevin RobertsSenior Writer IFebruary 24, 2010

PHOENIX - NOVEMBER 11:  Marcus Thornton #5 of the New Orleans Hornets during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on November 11, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Hornets 124-104.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

We knew New Orleans' rookie guard Marcus Thornton had some game.

Analysts all over were marveling over what a steal he was when the Hornets got him with a second-round pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, and after some solid early season games, everyone who backed him coming out of LSU felt vindicated.

But now they really can say "I told you so" to any of Thornton's doubters.

Despite losing his starting gig to veteran Morris Peterson (due to injury) a few weeks ago, Thornton thrived off the bench last night, dropping 37 points (23 in the first half) on the Cleveland Cavaliers, as he made 15-of-22 shots, while logging 31 minutes.

So, the question now is, is this just a blip in the radar, or is this Thornton's vast potential coming to life?

With starting point guard Chris Paul still out and minutes readily available, there's no reason to think Thornton can't start putting in more performances like this.

Well, maybe not exactly like this.

However, Thornton was on a tear with consistent, solid production before his injury back in the beginning of February, as he had strung together six consecutive starts with at least 36 minutes and 14 points, while scoring 20+ points three times during that span.

It's been a slow going since his return, as Thornton has sat behind Peterson, but has been chipping in solid minutes and production off the bench, logging at least 21 minutes and scoring at least 12 points in each of his past 12 games.

Tuesday night marked Thornton's first game with more than 30 minutes since Feb. 3rd, and it's no coincidence that the extra minutes and shots led to great production.

With a potential re-insertion into the starting lineup (and more minutes, at the very worst), Thornton could quickly be back on the rise.

And the best part about Thornton's explosive game and outstanding potential? He's available in 66 percent of all Yahoo! Fantasy Basketball leagues.

Needless to say: Go get him.

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