The Marcus Thornton starting power forward lineup has produced some pretty good results: a 2-1 record. While the Rockets instantly become the smallest team in the NBA when Thornton is starting, they become dynamic offensively.
Since Terrence Jones has been out of the lineup with an injury to his eyelid, Thornton has taken advantage and provided scoring. Thornton has put up 17 points a game (as a starter) while being making nearly 50% of his shots.
"I think it’s working," Ty Lawson said of Thornton in the starting lineup. "He’s knocking down threes, spreading the court a little more, I think it’s working for us we should keep going with it. We're 2-1 with that starting lineup and we're playing a lot better."
The lineup does seem to be working, and with James Harden being more cold than hot to start the season. Thornton has given them a much-needed scoring punch that Terrence Jones just can't.
Jones has more potential and can rebound the ball better, but Thornton is a legit scoring threat and overall just might be the better fit until Donatas Motiejunas can return.
"The court is more spaced," James Harden said. "You're getting an opportunity to drive, driving the lanes, finishes, and you got shooters on the perimeter you (can) kick out for threes, just a lot more spacing opportunity."
Spacing and clogged lanes have been something the Rockets have dealt with since the start of the season. At the very least, with Thornton starting there is less of a chance the lanes will get clogged since he's usually perched on the three-point line waiting for a kick out.
Maybe it's that Jones just hasn't had the chance to catch his flow since he has been in and out during the later part of the preseason and the start of the season. But the numbers do back Thornton and support Lawson's assessment that Thornton should continue to start.
Small sample size yes, but whatever your thoughts are on the subject, the Rockets can't afford to drop many more games. Right now, Thornton gives Houston the best chance at winning basketball games.