Malcolm Thomas Shows Off His Scoring Versatility In Loss To The Warriors

USA TODAY Sports

Against the Santa Cruz Warriors on Saturday night, Malcolm Thomas had another outstanding game, scoring 31 points and pulling down 13 rebounds in the D-Fenders' loss. But the most impressive part of his performance was his shooting ability, as he made Hilton Armstrong pay for giving him space by knocking down six threes.

There is something to be said about a big man who can score in a variety of ways. Too often in our game today, the ginormous monsters we call centers lack the skills we grew accustomed to seeing from some of the greats, such as Shaquille O'Neal, Patrick Ewing, Kevin McHale and Hakeem Olajuwon. Nowadays, it's a rare sight for a 7-footer to use his power to bulldoze his way to the rim, only to capitalise on the opportunity with a feathery soft hook shot. In fact, more often than not, they are seen as a liability, as teams like the Miami Heat use "small ball" to stretch the floor and run teams out of the gym.

So when someone like Malcolm Thomas comes along, who has the skill-set to both make teams pay with his back to the basket, as well as from the perimeter, it's hard not to fall in loves with his game.

In the D-Fenders' season debut, Thomas scored a game-high 36 points on an array of post-moves that would even make the Barkley's and Shaq's of the world proud. But aside from those sky-hooks and thunderous dunks, he tantalised the crowd with a pair of threes, showing off just how versatile of a big man he actually is. But were they a sign of things to come or were they simple heat checks on a night he was feeling it?

Well, last night he gave us the answers we were looking for.

In the first quarter against the Warriors, Thomas was nowhere to be found down in the low-block, but for good reason. With seasoned veteran Hilton Armstrong guarding him, the game plan was simple: Force Thomas to beat us in any way that doesn't involve him pounding his way to the basket. For that reason, the San Diego State product found himself on the three with nobody within 10-feet of him. So in the opening minute of the game, he put one up with the shot-clock winding down and sure enough, it went in. Then, a few minutes later, he set a screen for Josiah Turner, popped out to the three and nailed a second one. From then on, he was locked in. Thomas would go on to knock down another two threes in that quarter, giving him 14 points in the opening 12 minutes of the game. By the end of the night, he knocked down six treys en route to another dominating performance: 31 points on 11-for-20 shooting and 13 rebounds.

After two games, Thomas' season averages now stand at 33.5 points, 15.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks on 62.2 percent shooting from the floor and 61.5 percent from the three. Unfortunately, those numbers are yet to get the D-Fenders a win, as they are now 0-2 on the season, but nevertheless, Thomas has looked spectacular. Not only that, but he continues to prove why he's the number one prospect in the D-League with his ability to score in a variety of ways and pull down every rebound in sight.

I've said this once and I'll say it again: At this rate, NBA teams would be silly not to take a chance on Thomas.

Thomas' Highlights

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Ridiculous Upside

You must be a member of Ridiculous Upside to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Ridiculous Upside. You should read them.

Join Ridiculous Upside

You must be a member of Ridiculous Upside to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Ridiculous Upside. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker