April 17, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Kendall Marshall (12) drives to the basket past Denver Nuggets guard Andre Iguodala (9) during the second half at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets won 118-98. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Suns Report Card: Kendall Marshall

Kendall Marshall (point guard)

Season stat line (averages)

MIN: 14.6|FG%: .371|3P%: .315|FT%: .571|REB: 0.9|AST: 3.0|BLK: 0.1|STL: 0.5|TO: 1.2|PTS: 3.0

Eric’s comments: 

I liked Kendall Marshall this year. Although it took some time, he improved on his shot slightly and by the last couple games of the season was looking at the rim for a layup instead of penetrating for a pass with absolutely NO threat of scoring. As is obvious, he needs to work on his shot (getting it faster and with more of an arc) and his defense, most importantly his lateral quickness, so that he can attempt to stay with the faster point guards like Russell Westbrook. Another observation that everyone agrees with is that Marshall has GREAT court vision and passing ability. I see a lot of potential and big things from him next season here in Phoenix as the back-up point guard.

While he was the 13th pick overall from North Carolina in last year’s draft, for the beginning of the season he was the third string point guard. We also expected that Marshall would be more of a longer-term project instead of an instant star that Portland’s rookie Damian Lillard (6th overall in 2012) has become, even though nobody saw him coming.

Grade: C+

Matt’s Comments:

Marshall had a disappointing year given his draft position, but to be fair it wasn’t really his fault; Marshall was the 24th ranked prospect heading into last year’s draft but the Suns took him with the 13th overall pick anyway.

Marshall demonstrated this past season what everyone already knew he was great at, passing however aside from that he was awful at just about everything else. His 37% field-goal percentage was pathetic as was his 31% three-point percentage and 57% free-throw percentage.

For most of the season I questioned Marshall’s work ethic, because there were little to no improvements in his game from his sophomore year at North Carolina to this past season. In all fairness, he did get better towards the end of the season, whether that’s a fluke or not is another story.

I believe Marshall has the POTENTIAL to be an all-star in this league. His passing ability is second to none, he has a great feel for the game, but he’s got to work on that jump-shot and he’s got to invest significant time towards improving his defensive skills. Marshall will be just 22-years old heading into next season so he has quite a few years to prove critics wrong. Keep in mind, once upon a time Dallas fans were getting ready to chase Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki out of town with torches and pitch forks.

Grade: D+

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