It wasn’t that long ago that basketball experts were tabbing Kendall Marshall as a candidate for NBA Most Improved Player, as he was lighting up the league for the Los Angeles Lakers in several statistical departments. However, as of late, he looks to be a completely different player, almost looking lifeless out on the basketball court.
The change seemed to occur when Jordan Farmar returned from injury after the All-Star break and cut into his minutes. Marshall has been in a funk ever since, shooting just 29 percent from the field since Feb. 21. More than that, his body language has been horrible on the court, along with displaying a frighteningly poor defensive IQ nightly.
Lately, Marshall hasn’t even tried to take the ball to the basket, which was one of his strengths earlier in the season. He was in a unique situation before having played huge minutes, but only because all of the other Lakers point guards were injured. Fat chance that kind of playing time will ever fall his way again.
In fact, with how putrid the second year man out of North Carolina has looked for over month now, he might have a hard time locking down a roster spot with the team next year. I mean, he does have unfortunate distinction of being the Lakers’ starting point guard during the worst stretch of losing in the team’s history; that’s going to be hard to overlook when evaluating roster spots by the front office.
It seems Mike D’Antoni is trying to give him every opportunity to snap out of it by continuing to insert him in the starting lineup, but it seems Marshall has mentally checked out. Maybe he feels he has done enough to prove himself. If that’s the case, he is sadly mistaken.