2014 Player Capsule: Kendall Marshall
BY THE NUMBERS:
2 – Marshall’s league-wide rank in assists on the season at 8.8 per game, trailing only Chris Paul’s 10.8. Paul’s 10 games of 14+ assists just beat out Marshall’s nine for another NBA high.
5 – Straight point/assist double-doubles for Marshall in mid-January, making him one of only three players in the NBA to have such a streak during the 2013-14 campaign.
39.9 – Percentage of three-point field goals made for Marshall, which ranked 27th in the league; at one point in the year, the North Carolina product led the league in that category.
In early December, Marshall was playing in the D-League for the Delaware 87ers. By January 3, he was the starting point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers. L.A. had been desperate for a point guard after Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar all went down with injuries, and the 2012 Suns lottery pick - who’d been traded to Washington and then cut in training camp - burst onto the scene with career highs of 20 points and 15 assists in his first start, a 110-99 win over Utah. Marshall backed it up with 17 dimes in the next home game, and over the next 13 games in January, Marshall recorded double-digit dimes nine times. The two knocks on his game at that point were a lack of shooting touch and a lack of athleticism that showed up mostly on defense. While the latter was an issue all season, the former surprisingly turned into a strength in the first 23 games in purple in gold for Marshall, when he drained 44 of the 89 triples he attempted to lead the entire NBA at 49.4 percent. His shooting fell off as the season went on and L.A. got some point guards back, but he finished hitting a still-solid 39.9 percent of his threes on the season, towards 8.0 points with his 8.8 assists. Marshall finished second only to Chris Paul’s 10.7 assists per game, tying John Wall and Ty Lawson. While his defense needs continued attention moving forward, Marshall showcased an ability to run a team that impressed LAL’s brass and likely secured him another chance to show what he can do at an NBA level in 2014-15.
IN HIS WORDS:
“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity. Certain things had to fall into place. I don’t wish injuries on anybody but I was the benefactor of that. When I first got here, I was just happy to be here. I was trying to be the greatest teammate. Then I realized I could play in this league. If I work hard I can play in this league.”