Feb. 10, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Phoenix Suns point guard Kendall Marshall against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Summer League Vital For Kendall Marshall

Kendall Marshall was taken 13th overall by the Phoenix Suns in the 2012 NBA draft, but after a borderline average performance during his rookie season plus the additions of Eric Bledsoe and Archie Goodwin, Marshall now finds himself in a tooth and nail battle for a spot in the rotation this upcoming season.

While Marshall illustrated to the critics that he has no problem setting up his teammates, his awkward ineffective jump shot and his poor ability to finish around the basket continues to fuel his doubters.

“I want to continue to cement myself on the team and show that I can contribute when camp comes around,” Marshall said after Thursday’s practice session.

One of the most troubling aspects to Marshall’s game is indeed his jump shot. Most experts (myself included) believed that his jump shot would improve at the NBA level because he showed improvement when he was at North Carolina but that hasn’t been the case in the NBA.

Kendall Marshall shot an abysmal 37% from the field during this past season, and shot just 31.5% from downtown. His free throw numbers were less than desired as well; Marshall shot just 57.1% from the line. What’s more troubling is that despite logging over 700 minutes last season, Marshall attempted just 14 free throws all season long. That equates to one free throw attempt for roughly every 50 minutes of court action he saw.

From the perspective of looking at the cup half full, Marshall was bothered by his wrist injury prior to the beginning of last season so that could be a big reason why there was no significant improvement to his shot, but this off-season he’s been healthy and there’s absolutely zero excuse if there’s no improvement shown.

Case in point, if Marshall doesn’t show new head coach Jeff Hornacek that he’s the best point guard on the Suns summer league roster, he might find himself being a bench warmer this upcoming season.

One thing is for sure, there’s as much pressure on Marshall this season as there is on any other Suns player. Marshall has to show Planet Orange and the Suns coaching staff that he can be more than being just a set-up man. 

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