In the midst of the Lakers fumbling their way to a loss against the Golden State Warriors, newly signed point guard Kendall Marshall made his LA debut. In just six minutes of playing time, Marshall looked every bit the draft bust that his reputation dictated. The former 13th overall pick just 18 months ago in the 2012 NBA Draft committed nearly one turnover per minute played with a combination of ragged half-baked pass attempts. Marshall looked completely unprepared to play with his new team, grasping to adjust to the nuances of Mike D’Antoni’s offense and misreading the habits of his new teammates. One can hardly blame Marshall in a sense, seeing as he was plucked out of the Delaware 87ers D-League rotation and 24 hours later put right back into a NBA game.
With injuries to Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake, it’s clear that whether or not he’s ready for it, Kendall Marshall must play a role with the Los Angeles Lakers this season. As the 15th and final man on the roster, he’s quite literally the last resort for a broken, battered team that looks to be careening down the mountain quickly. Not that we’re at all foreign to this situation.
Last season, starting point guard Steve Nash broke his leg in just the year’s second game. His primary back-up, Steve Blake, was hurt shortly thereafter with an abdominal tear that required surgery. With Kobe playing heavy minutes at point guard, soon players like a washed-up Chris Duhon and unprepared second-year man Darius Morris were sopping up major minutes when, quite frankly, they had no business as serious NBA contributors. We watched on with a sort of bemused disbelief as Duhon launched 35-foot jumpers and Morris struggled to finish shots at the rim even Duhon couldn’t miss. It was embarrassing and unfathomable, a similar feeling that I got watching the Lakers on Saturday night.
(Read on at Silver Screen and Roll)