No playing time for Collison and Thornton: the exception or the norm?

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Published: November 5, 2009

The Hornets have played five games so far this season, amounting to 265 player minutes. Darren Collison, the Hornets’ 2009 first-round draft pick, has played just three of those minutes. Marcus Thornton, the team’s 2009 second-round pick, has been inactive for every game.

Many fans are upset with head coach Byron Scott for not giving the rookies a chance. But is Byron doing anything different from his peers in the NBA? Let’s look at some comparable rookies and the playing time they’ve received so far. We’ll take the five players drafted before and the five players drafted after both Collison and Thornton.

Collison Comparison

Pick Player Position Team Minutes (Tot) Minutes (Avg)
16 James Johnson PF CHI 11 11.0
17 Jrue Holiday PG PHI 19 09.5
18 Ty Lawson PG DEN 106 21.2
19 Jeff Teague PG ATL 45 11.3
20 Eric Maynor PG UTA 13 04.3
21 Darren Collison PG NOH 3 03.0
22 Victor Claver SF POR n/a n/a
23 Omri Casspi SF SAC 99 19.8
24 B.J. Mullens C OKC 0 00.0
25 Rodrigue Beaubois PG DAL 16 08.0
26 Taj Gibson PF CHI 76 19.0

Notes:

  1. Beaubois and Gibson have both started one game this season.
  2. Victor Claver is playing overseas.

Thornton Comparison

Pick Player Position Team Minutes (Tot) Minutes (Avg)
38 Jon Brockman PF SAC 43 08.6
39 Jonas Jerebko SF DET 57 19.0
40 Derrick Brown PF CHA 28 09.3
41 Jodie Meeks SG MIL 2 02.0
42 Patrick Beverley PG MIA n/a n/a
43 Marcus Thornton SG NOH 0 00.0
44 Chase Budinger SG HOU 64 16.0
45 Nick Calathes PG MIN n/a n/a
46 Daniel Green SF CLE 0 00.0
47 Henk Norel PF DAL n/a n/a
48 Taylor Griffin SF PHO 8 08.0

Notes:

  1. Jonas Jerebko has started two games this season.
  2. Patrick Beverley, Nick Calathes and Henk Norel are all playing overseas.

Disclaimer

Keep in mind that each team’s situation is different. Some rookies might be seeing little PT because they have solid players ahead of them in the rotation, while others have been getting big minutes because they have little competition for the job.

Also, the minutes above are through games played November 4th. Some teams had played four games, some teams had played five.

Looking forward

This from NOLA.com today:

Rookie shooting guard Marcus Thornton was put on the inactive list Wednesday for the fifth consecutive game,  but he may activated for Friday night’s game against Toronto Raptors or for Sunday’s road game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

And Scott said first-round draft pick Darren Collison could get more time on the floor after playing only three minutes in the regular-season opener against the San Antonio Spurs.

“I think both of those guys are kind of biting at the bits right now to get out there and play, ” Scott said. “Hopefully next week,  they will get the opportunity.”

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