The 2012-2013 NBA season hasn’t been a good time for the Phoenix Suns. They’ve lacked consistent production from almost all of their players, fired their head coach and, of course, are 19-39 and tied for last place in the Western Conference. They have all the tell-tale signs of a team that’s rebuilding.
However, if they are rebuilding, it’s the strangest method that’s ever been used to do so. They consistently give minutes to players that are in or past their primes that haven’t ever panned out instead of giving players that are younger opportunities to show their skills and to gain experience that will help them develop.
Deservedly, Goran Dragic has played the bulk of the minutes at point guard this season for the Suns, averaging 32.9 minutes per game. Also for most of the season Sebastian Telfair was the backup for Dragic. But with Telfair being traded, that’s moved rookie Kendall Marshall into the reserve point guard role.
With the Telfair trade though, Dragic’s minutes have dramatically increased, averaging 40.7 minutes per game over the three games the Suns have played without Telfair. Over that time, Marshall has averaged just 12.3 minutes per game. Considering once again that the Suns are a franchise trying to rebuild, wouldn’t they want to get their rookie point guard more experience?
Marshall hasn’t been other-worldly in his limited minutes this season by any means. In the 11.1 minutes per game that he’s averaged in the 24 games he’s appeared in, Marshall is averaging just 2.1 points and 1.7 assists. But it can’t be forgotten that he’s doing that in his first 24 NBA games ever, and in extremely limited minutes.
Its seems like the smart move here would be to get Marshall more time on the floor so that he can develop into either a starter or even just a serviceable backup. He’s just 21 years old and has a lot of growing as a basketball player left, but Phoenix has to give him the chance to do so.
Will Marshall develop into a superstar? Probably not. But the Suns should at least see what they have in Marshall instead of keeping him on the bench for the majority of the time. It’s not like they really have anything to play for at this point, so they should focus on getting their young players experience.