LOS ANGELES –As the losses continue to pile up for the Los Angeles Lakers, there have been a few bright spots on the team with one of them being the play of Kendall Marshall.
In Thursday’s loss, Marshall racked up 17 assists which tied his career-high that he set on Jan. 5 against the Denver Nuggets in his second start for the Lakers. His two 17-plus assists games this season are tied for the league lead and his six 14-plus assist games rank him second in the NBA this year.
The second-year guard has now made 16 starts with Los Angeles, and entering Thursday’s game was averaging 11.9 points and 11.5 assists as a starter. This also included a stretch of five straight double-doubles and 14 games of double-digit assists totals.
What these numbers show is that Marshall has taken full advantage of a dire point guard situation when he first signed with the team in mid-December. What it also shows is that the 22-year-old can be a solid starting point guard when given the opportunity to do so.
But with that said, Marshall credits his teammates and his coaches’ confidence in him as the key to his success in purple and gold.
“The biggest thing is confidence,” Marshall said. “All my coaches and teammates are instilling confidence (in me) that makes it easy to go out and play, which you got give them credit for that.”
Marshall play has not gone unnoticed as Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni has been quite impressed by his performance as the team’s starting point guard.
“His numbers are definitely nice,” D’Antoni said. “He has definitely responded. He is playing really, really, really well.”
What these numbers also show is that his ability to rack a high amount of assists is no fluke as he has only had two games this season where he recorded less than eight assists. Marshall has a knack for finding the open man and as the lead guard he increases the flow of the offense when he is on the court.
But with the All-Star Break now upon us, it will be interesting to see what the Lakers plan to do with Marshall as Steve Nash, Jodie Meeks, and Jordan Farmar are all expected to return sometime soon after this weekend.
Nonetheless, despite whatever happens in the near future, one thing is for certain: Marshall has demonstrated himself worthy of being a starting point guard in the NBA.
Photo Credit: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images
Bob Garcia IV
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