The Los Angeles Lakers haven’t had too much to be excited about in the 2013-14 season, however the emergence of Kendall Marshall as a legitimate point guard in the NBA has been one of the more fun aspects to watch this year. Yet, since the Lakers have acquired Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks from the Golden State Warriors, Marshall has really struggled with his shot which has coincided with a drastic cut in minutes.
Another reason for the slash in minutes has been the return of fellow point guard Jordan Farmar. So now Marshall isn’t getting pick-and-roll’s the entire game, and thus has lost the rhythm on his shot, at least that’s my theory. It can also just be his numbers regressing to the mean. Regardless, it’s a concerning sign because he was in a pretty unique situation before with all of the injuries and it is unrealistic for him to expect to receive 40+ minutes a game ever again in his NBA career.
Marshall is going to have to figure out a way to be effective in a smaller sample size of minutes in order to prove to the league he is a capable rotation player. In a way, this is very similar to what Jeremy Lin went through when he had to adjust to playing with other guys who were also somewhat ball dominant. If you remember during “Linsanity,” he was playing with non ball-handlers Landry Fields, Steve Novak, Tyson Chandler, and Jared Jeffries. Then he was asked to share the ball more liberally, and began to look like an average point guard.
For Marshall, he was the only true point guard on the Lakers roster for a month and a half, and as a result everything went through him. Now the reality of having to share the ball is starting to hit, and he looks to be lacking confidence, as evidenced by shooting just 3-19 in the last four games including 1-7 from three-point land.
The best way for him to be effective is by making quicker decisions when handling the ball and making sure the first unit gets off to a better start. The Lakers have been consistently getting out-played early in games, with Marshall’s unit looking very disengaged. Still, the second-year man out of North Carolina has done enough to earn a job somewhere in the NBA next season.