Evaluating Kendall Marshall in transition


The Suns are 3-0 thus far in the Las Vegas Summer League, but not everyone is feeling lucky in the desert. Over the last few days, questions about last year’s first-round draft pick Kendall Marshall have been raised, and his future in Phoenix has become suddenly cloudy like a mid-afternoon monsoon. With the arrivals of Eric Bledsoe and Archie Goodwin, Marshall finds himself buried in the Suns’ backcourt depth chart. This congestion and Marshall’s lack of improvement over his first 12 months in the NBA has led to his name being floated in trade rumors, which Kevin Zimmerman covered earlier this week.

In addition, new head coach Jeff Hornacek, in an interview with arizonasports.com, was critical of some parts of Marshall’s game, namely his ability to attack in transition. It was this criticism, more so than the trade rumors or new roster competition, that sparked Kendall’s ire. As he is wont to do, Marshall took to Twitter to express his frustration (though these tweets were subsequently deleted.) He took issue with the idea that he couldn’t lead the Phoenix fast break effectively, citing how much his Tar Heels got out in transition when he was still in Chapel Hill. And Marshall has a point. UNC was a great fast-break team during Marshall’s final collegiate season. But being great at something in college doesn’t always translate to success at the NBA level, and some, including Coach Hornacek, would say this is the case with Kendall. So the question remains, is Marshall good in transition or not? Let’s break it down.

Three Characteristics of an Effective Ball Handler in Transition

1. Speed: Having elite speed is great, but it’s not nearly as important on the fast break as acceleration. The NBA court is only so long. The faster a player can get out of the blocks i.e. start the break, the more likely he is to generate a bucket on the other end. Even if a ball handler’s top speed is slower than the defense’s, the ability to reach that speed quickly can still allow him to get out in front of his opponents.

2. Good Decision Making: The goal of a fast break is to take advantage of an opponent’s mistake and score. Sometimes that means the ball-handler finds a teammate for a great shot or easy basket. Sometimes that means he keeps the ball and attacks the basket himself. Deciding which move is the right move, in a split second, is crucial to avoiding turnovers and racking up fast break points.

3. Ability to Finish at the Rim: Most transition baskets are layups. In order to consistently take advantage of a disadvantaged opponent in transition, ball handlers must be able to finish at the hoop. There is almost always contact from the defender on transition layups, and oftentimes guards are called upon to score at the hoop with larger players chasing them down from behind. Players leading the break must be able to keep the ball for themselves and finish from point blank range if that is the best opportunity available in a given transition scenario.

Does Marshall display these characteristics? Let’s take it point-by-point.

1. Looking at his DraftExpress profile, Marshall had average-to-good speed in the three-quarter court sprint at the 2012 Draft Combine. His time last year was on par with the times of 2013 first-round picks Michael Carter-Williams and Isaiah Canaan. It’s worth noting, however, that Marshall was significantly slower in the sprint than fellow Tar Heel Harrison Barnes. But speed is not as important as acceleration on an NBA fast break. Acceleration is a product of a player’s agility. And though his sprint time was respectable, Marshall’s agility drill time at the combine was abysmal.

He was bested by such notable players as Robert Sacre, Tonike Shengaila, and Andre Drummond, each of whom stand at least 6’8”. His teammate, Harrison Barnes, was more than a second faster. What makes LeBron James and Russell Westbrook so devastating in transition is the fact that it only takes them two steps to reach max speed and fly past opponents. Marshall is not really agile enough to fly past anyone. In college, guards can run fast breaks like a quarterback. Their wings fill the lanes like wide receivers on deep post routes, and they can make decisions from the mid-court line, often choosing to pass the ball ahead to a streaking teammate. In the NBA, however, everyone is lightning fast compared to players in college. Ball handlers leading the break have to keep up with the players filling the lanes instead of lagging behind. Thus far, Marshall has not shown the ability to lead the break this way. He often lags behind which leads to turnovers and missed transition opportunities.

2. Perhaps the most damning piece of evidence in the indictment of Marhshall’s transition game is his turnover rate. Last year, he turned the ball over on nearly 40% of his transition opportunities. (Phoenix’s rate of turnovers in transition as a team was 13%.) Again, many of his TO’s were on vertical passes to teammates who were running towards the hoop, but not open enough to receive the ball. Marshall’s propensity to bring up the rear on the break does lead to more opportunities for transition threes, but it limits his attacking options, forces him into bad passes, and makes it easy for recovering defenders to trap him 40 feet from the hoop.

3. According to NBA Wowy, other than Sebastian Telfair, no player on the Suns’ roster last season was a worse finisher inside of three feet than Marshall. Though he has good size for a point guard and a very good vertical leap, Marshall simply does not finish well enough at the hoop to be highly effective leading the fast break. His deficiency as a finisher allows defenders to delay committing to him until he is closer to the hoop. This limits his passing options and forces him to keep the ball, which right now, is the best outcome for the opponent.

That last statement – ‘right now’ – is the key for Marshall. There’s nothing to say he won’t improve all aspects of his game, including his skills and decision making in transition. But right now, he is sub par and Coach Hornacek is right to criticize him. That criticism could be just the thing Kendall needs to realize his potential and improve. But he may not be in a Phoenix uniform if and when he finally does.

And 1

Grantland’s Zach Lowe sat down with Jeff Hornacek to talk the Suns’ style and the importance of numbers, among other things.

Tags: Kendall Marshall Phoenix Suns Phoenix Suns Analysis

  • http://ultimatesimbaseball.com Brenton

    Finishing at the rim is one of the most important predictors of success by college guards.

    Shooting can be taught, but inside scoring just either comes naturally or it doesnt.

    Its why Sebastion Telfair is a bench player and not an all star. He can penetrate easily, but cant score unless he is wide open(and he also has a Kobe-esque hatred of passing the ball).

    I cant think of any players who suddenly got better at scoring inside, while I can think of several players off the top of my head who learned to shoot(LeBron, Amare, Bruce Bowen, Tim Duncan, etc…).

  • Foreveris2long

    I tend to agree with ya Brenton as going to the hole is a mindset, at least in part. I mean you still should have an explosive 1st step, which Telfair has but you almost have to invite or welcome the contact, which Telfair does not do well. Marshall does not have the explosive 1st step and he does not have the killer instinct to finish.

    Now I think there are exceptions to needing a killer 1st step and one of them is having a well respected jumper (see Nash). Marshall does not have that either. Unfortunately because i think he is a suspect defender, his one attribute,i.e., passing, may not be good enough to keep him a Sun while they wait for him to develop a shot (release point is waaaaay too low).

    Right now the Suns have 4 guards who in my opinion deserve time every night, Dragic, Bledsoe, Tucker and Goodwin. Brown and Marshall will and should be on the outside looking in. Now I guess the Suns could give Tucker minutes behind Butler at the three which would open minutes for Marshall, especially if Beasley continues his inconsistency but Marshall has a ton of work to do as the Suns want to run a lot and that really is not his NBA DNA.

    Wesiert, excellent article as us hacks deem to discuss Marshall everyday. You have a good perspective of Marshall’s limitations.

    In any regards I am excited about the Suns and will take in a number of Suns games this season both in the desert and Southern California. I love the culture Coach and McD are trying to establish. Props to Sarver for sitting on his hands this summer, giving McD significant voice in the team’s direction.

  • DBreezy

    @Foreveris,

    I can’t figure out what it is with Self’s system either, as I don’t think it’s something obvious like Boeheim’s zone. However his players really haven’t translated well and it’s a concern with Wiggins. Mario Chalmers is basically the most consistently successful player that’s come out during Self’s run at KU. I believe Hinrich, Gooden, and Collison played for Williams not Self and they’re aren’t exactly a testament to the notion of big time prospects out of KU putting it down in the league. Ultimately it’s pretty much been Manning and Pierce since 1988.

  • DBreezy

    @Brenton,

    I think the ability to improve at finishing at the rim can can be improve, but it’s far more unpredictable than shooting improvement. In general if you commit and put in the work, you will improve as a shooter with it mostly being a question of how much.

    Finishing seems to be a much broader subject. Most bigs coming into the league these days can’t finish much outside of a dunk. Yet some develop incredible touch, like Amar’e while some don’t like Dwight Howard.

    A big part of it for bigs is experience imo. These guys are generally so much bigger and stronger than nearly everyone they see before getting to the league. As a result they rarely have to do much but catch and dunk. Anthony Davis being a guard for so long was huge for him touch and movement wise. The bigs who stay around college for a few years tend to have much better touch in general as they’ve spent more time as inside focal points learning the finer points. There was a big difference between Len as a frosh and a soph. I think it’s also why we see so many undersized, Carl Landry/Brandon Bass/Sullinger types come into the league with good inside scoring touch. Because they’re undersized, they often don’t project as high picks right away and end up in college longer. They learn more skills as a result though.

    With guards and wing players it seems like so much more of a mixed bag. The issues seem so varied and almost random. Fast, athletic guys who can’t get inside or finish if they get there like BMac. Unathletic guys like Marshall. Young guys like Goodwin who really just need the strength to finish through contact, but have the moves. Veteran guys with all the skills who simply can’t do it consistently like LB. Guys who surprise you like Westbrook who wasn’t this good of a halfcourt finisher at UCLA and so on. It just seems like so much more of a throw your hands up and see what happens deal with a lot of guards and wings.

  • Scott

    I think we’ve always known – since before the draft – that Marshall would have to learn to compensate for his physical deficiencies by developing a crafty game. This hasn’t happened yet, but he’s only completed one year in the league and is still a young man. In fact, he’s still younger than most of the players drafted this year.

    I believe there are 2 obvious flaws in Marshall’s offensive game.

    1) He has been reluctant to pass his own 3 pt line. So he has done nothing of his own to disrupt the defense, and he also doesn’t find the play making opportunities that exist when you are moving in the interior. Hornacek has likely been urging Marshall to move inside more, as the coach has already told the press that when he was playing PG years ago he preferred to play from inside as that allowed him to see the floor better and create better.

    2) Marshall so far has been allergic to scoring. It’s not just that he lacks killer instinct, and it’s not that he doesn’t finish well through contact. He’s not taking contact, he’s not finishing, and he’s not even creating for himself. If he is competitive, it could be that he overcompensates for a strong competitive drive by trying to be exceedingly generous to his teammates. He could be bottling himself up in an effort to “play well with others.” Either that, or he utterly lacks competitive drive and simply enjoys games in some odd, abstract way.

    According to Kendall, even his father complains that Marshall doesn’t put up enough shots.

    And, since he’s a non-factor on offense, he essentially adds his man as an additional defender on the inside, making any offensive play he runs that much harder for the team to execute.

    Hunter – as player development coach and head coach – had it right when he said that Marshall has a comfort zone and the problem for the Suns is that he intends to stay in it. Marshall’s problem is that the longer he stays in his comfort zone the less he grows. Rookies only get so much time to prove themselves, and when his time runs out he may well find himself looking for work overseas.

    The bright side of all this? Marshall acknowledged these issues in interviews given before the draft. So he knows all about it.

    The dark side of it is that so far he’s done nothing to correct the situation. He should have used his spare time last year to fix his shot, yet instead – to the ire of just about everyone – he complained he wasn’t getting play time.

    So for a player billed as a mature leader with a high IQ, it’s looking like his first stumbling block is his own immaturity, lack of self-discipline, and lack of problem solving skills.

    @Ryan -

    Is it appropriate to refer to Marshall’s final year at UNC as his senior year when he was only there for 2 years? Shouldn’t his final year there be his sophomore year?

  • Scott

    BTW, I see that Olshey says he doesn’t want to trade Aldridge for picks.

    Maybe the Suns could get in on that somehow? Because the Suns could use picks. ;)

  • Ty-Sun

    I think the key to being successful at driving to the hoop is learning to deal with contact and still score. It’s very rare that you’re going to make it to the hoop without drawing some contact. Some players can just power though it and others learn to adjust their shots on the fly to compensate for the contact. Players who don’t drive to the hoop often can’t do either so they just don’t try unless they have a fairly open path to the hoop.

    Creativity is especially important for guards that drive and that’s part of b-ball IQ IMO. And that doesn’t apply just to the shot, especially if you don’t have that explosive 1st step or the strength to power through contact.

    As to Marshall, I think he still has potential but he’s more of a long-term project than most people thought because he has so much to work on.

  • kendall marshall

    I told you all before, i’ll race Bavetta!! I’m quicker than most of you think.

  • Scott

    @Ty-Sun -

    It can also be useful to drive and shoot even when you know your shot won’t go in due to the contact.

    It helps get the opposing team into foul trouble and can thus lead to either a softer defense by opposing bigs or free throw shots coming earlier in the quarter due to excessive team fouls.

  • http://ultimatesimbaseball.com Brenton

    @Scott

    I was playing with the trade machine trying to see if the Suns could get in on LA trade. Its tough, because the best assets the Suns have(and wouldnt mind trading) are Gortat, Marshall, and draft picks. You could probably get in the game by using Beasely and Gortat together, and basically get nothing back. Not sure we want to go that route.

    Aldridge wants to play with a quality center(ie: better than Robin Lopez), on a playoff team.

    Only a few teams fit the bill. Golden State was mentioned as a possible fit, but unless the Suns want David Lee, I dont see any Phoenix involvement.

    Interesting deal would be LaMarcus Aldridge to Houston, and maybe the Suns could hop on there sending Gortat to Portland and taking Asik. Obviously there would need to be more to it to make the Blazers not hang up on you, plus you would block your future all star, dominating center Alex Len(note the sarcasm), so you have to then trade Asik to some other team like NO for a 2016 1st round pick and filler(aminu?).

  • Ty-Sun

    @Scott – That almost goes without saying but unless you are at least a good free throw shooter, sometimes players shy away from drawing fouls because they are embarrassed when they go to the FT line and try to avoid drawing fouls because of that. I don’t know Marshall’s FT percentage so I really don’t know if that has anything to do with his reluctance to drive or not.

  • NOitall

    I think it is entirely unfair to assess a point guard’s capability handling transition in a vacuum, without considering other factors impacting that guard’s ability to succeed.

    First, speed or quickness might be an excellent factor if you are considering a specific player’s ability to produce a fast break opportunity for himself. One example of someone who succeeds in this particular trait is Ty Lawson. However, an example of someone with similarly blazing speed and quickness who I would not consider successful at creating and finishing solo fast breaks would be Leandro Barbosa [Nash created, Barbosa ran ahead. On his own, leandro was a failure at that].

    However, on the whole, we are talking about creating a sustainable transition attack, and the percentage of those possessions that are sole individually created scoring opportunities are low.

    You say most transition baskets are layups, but as a coach for over 25 years, I completely disagree. Yes, layups are what we all wish for as coaches, but reality is most transition buckets are jumpers and mid-range opportunities that are wide open, that were created by pushing the ball and creating kick outs.

    Marshall is correct in that he has demonstrated high level success at a program who is at the pinnacle of transition basketball. You are attributing his lack of success to some idea that the NBA game is somehow different fundamentally, and that his success from college is not transferable. I don’t believe that to be a valid sentiment.

    The game is fundamentally the same. Same amount of players, same size court, same rules [at least those that impact this area].

    What is different are the other players involved, as well as the coaching staff and their direction and philosophy. I would contend that the reason Marshall looks bad in transition, is because he lacks the teammates with the knowledge or ability or willingness to run the floor properly.

    In fact, I would argue that the Suns “vaunted” transition game was nowhere to be found over the past two seasons. When you have guys like Beasley and Brown running the wings [or not as in their case], bigs that don’t get down the floor, and players that don’t understand where to space themselves, you hardly can be at fault for not successfully managing transition.

    Marshall may not “fly down the court”, but that is not what makes a successful transition game. The keys to a successful transition game do not lay with one individual, but is the responsibility of all 5 guys on the floor.

    You need to be able to play defense for starters. Without making the other team miss, you are not going to be able to get the ball out. We were and are terrible defenders.

    You need guys who will rebound the ball in order to outlet. We are not good rebounders, thus need our wings to help and therefore they are jammed up in the paint rather than releasing for a break.

    You need a PG that can clear traffic quickly further down the floor for the outlet, but our PG has to rebound to make up for our bigs inability to do so.

    Then you need wings that know how to run wide and get down the floor for kick ahead passes, or how to clear through and space the floor for when the PG gets down the court and kicks.

    You need bigs that can quickly change ends to get down the lane to the rim, which we have NONE.

    Finally you need rebounders that can trail and knock down trailing jumpers if the D collapses. Frye was hurt and he doesn’t rebound. Scola can get down the floor. Neither can Gortat.

    So, in all, blame the makeup of this team, their inability individually to play their role in transition offense, and the coaching staff’s inability to properly teach them what to do. Also blame the fact that Beasley and Brown usually screw everything up as soon as they get on the court, either by trying to bring the ball up themselves [which they shouldnt do], or by overdribbling and taking bad shots once they receive the ball.

    You can say whatever you like about Marshall’s game, but I would temper your assessment of him as he is not working with all-stars here.

  • Ty-Sun

    @NOitall – Nash made good players look like all-stars and mediocre players look good. Marshall does nothing to to make anyone else better. Yes, if he had better players around him he would “look” better but that is the same for every other player. I could look good playing the point if I played with all-star players. Marshall doesn’t have that luxury which exposes his weaknesses.

  • Scott

    @NOitall -

    But that’s part of the issue at hand. Marshall’s fairly passive game relies on 4 star players sharing the court with him. While that would be nice to have, it would also be reasonable to ask Marshall to adapt his game to the existing reality and to try to work with it.

    Marshall’s game is unbalanced to where he is merely a facilitator. He could help his team by making himself a scoring option, by playing faster, and getting inside the 3 pt line.

    In the most recent game he played in SL (limited minutes against Memphis), Marshall did have a play where he was first down the floor on a steal, and he was the one who received the pass and made the layup. Is this the first time we’ve seen Marshall be the first down the floor and scoring the two points? Quite possibly.

    So while I think your points have validity, there are things Marshall could be doing to improve his game, and we might be seeing the first instances of that in this year’s Summer League.

  • http://www.valleyofthesuns.com Ryan Weisert

    @NOitall
    You’re totally right that basketball is a team game and assessing one player’s value and efficacy in transition is inherently unfair. That said, I think the ultimate argument I’m trying to make is that Marshall is below average leading the break and a different player, playing alongside the same Suns’ roster, would perform better.

    There are a ton of different qualities and actions which are required for a team to have a consistent transition attack as you rightly illustrated above. The Suns lack many of these. The SSOL era is long gone, and Phoenix is nothing like it used to be in transition. But in a sea of less-than-stellar fast break play, Marshall stands out prominently.

    He is too slow out of the blocks. I’m not saying he lacks the requisite speed; I’m saying he doesn’t start the break and get up to that speed quickly enough. That is a mental issue as well as an agility issue. He’s not recognizing transition opportunities as quickly as he should.

    When he is running the break, Marshall favors north-south passes, over the top of retreating defenders. I watched every one of his fast break possessions on Synergy and kept a tally. On plays where he made this type of north-south pass, he turned it over more than 50% of the time. That’s a combination of bad decision making and lack of passing skill. The talent of his teammates is immaterial in this area of the discussion. His running mates are either open or they aren’t. If they aren’t open, that might be their fault, but Marshall still threw the pass. A good point guard knows when to keep the ball himself and when to pull it back and set up the half-court offense. Marshall does not make the right decision as often as he should.

    And as for the statement comparing the college and NBA game, you’re right that the games are essentially the same, in terms of the rules and spirit of basketball being the same. But the NBA game is much, much faster than the NCAA game, and the margins of athleticism are subsequently much smaller. At UNC, Marshall, Barnes, and Co. could run past most opponents because of their superior athleticism. That athleticism and dominance likely covered up for poor decision making and bailed out the Tar Heels’ fast break on more than a few occasions. Marshall has not yet acclimated to the NBA well enough to justify significant playing time, and his shortcomings in transition are the most glaring of his flaws.

  • Ty-Sun

    BTW, Marshall wouldn’t be a candidate for league MVP even if he played in the WNBA. I think that there are many WNBA players that can outplay him… not only at the point but just one on one.

  • JD

    @ NOitall

    Unlike college, the average NBA player has the physical ability to not only cut off Marshall’s dribble in transition but also cover his passing lanes. While it’s true that better teammates will help, there’s only a handful of teams that have the personnel to compensate for Marshall’s deficiencies.

  • DBreezy

    The twins appear determined to shoot the Suns out of this one.

  • DBreezy

    Is this really happening? Does anyone at NBATV think that fans wanted to see a live press conference of Stern and Silver officially announcing that the Bobcats will be the Hornets again vs a game? Facepalm.

  • DBreezy

    Quote of the year (maybe the last several years) from McD: “This year will hopefully be more about the process, than the results”

  • Azbballfan

    We can debate the qualities of marshalls game, and the NBA game versus the college game, and what you need to do to be a good nba point guard and all that

    but at the end of the day, we have 3 young guards on our team that play the same position and look like a much bigger part of the team going forward

    Marshalls chance to impress the coaches and front office was last year, after the all-star break

    if Marshall was really that good of a prospect, we wouldnt have drafted goodwin or acquired Bledsoe

    while i think the siutation is unfair to marshall, it is what it is

    realistically the only thing marshall can do is keep his head up and remember that other teams watch games too

    plenty of players have done better on their 2nd team than their 1st

    Marshall wont get the keys to the suns, but improving and showing effort every day in practice will go a long way towards getting a better oppertunity

    i can only hope the suns use this year as a blank slate, player development year and not make any stupid trades like trading Gortat, Scola, and a 1st rounder for Aldridge

    the last thing we want to do is get just good enough to not good a good pick but not nearly good enough to do anything in the playoffs

  • foreveris2long

    D’Breezy I could not believe Stern and his buddies interrupted the game because the Bobcats were changing their name. Are you kidding me? Yep, The Morris boys are having a shootout with T. Robinson. The Marshall, Morris and Morris law firm should be shut down completely for incompetency as soon as they help us secure a top 5 lottery pick for the 2014 draft.

    For those who want to defend Marshall, did you see him get stripped twice in the 1st quarter in front of the Suns bench? He is one of the worst point guards I have ever seen in the NBA. The two point guards taken later in the draft than Marshall, Teague (Chicago) and Wolten (Memphis) are both much better point guards than Marshall.

  • Scott

    @forever -

    Yup, saw Marshall lose the ball. I also saw him make some bad passes.

    The behind the head pass to Markieff was pretty good though.

  • foreveris2long

    Yeah Scott he actually made a couple of nice plays but getting ripped twice in the first quarter is inexcusable. It was really ugly watching him in that 1st quarter. Hey your boy Zeller is having a nice summer league.

  • Roger

    I see VOTS has become a forum for thrashing Marshall. Let’s wait until after the fall training and exhibition games to determine he’s staying or traded or waived. Or maybe Horny sends him to DL after the season starts to give him and Suns more time to evaluate before pulling the plug.

  • SHAZAM

    kendall is a spoiled brat.hes not likable ..hes one of the rookies that the vets tired of quick last year..acting all entitled and smug.. now would some one please evaluate game 4 of summer league?…screw kendall hes a waste of thought

  • Scott

    @forever -

    Yup, Zeller has been doing well, despite being put at C when I’d rather see how he plays at PF.

    I don’t think he’s scoring tons of points, but I notice he sees the floor pretty well and makes good passes.

  • Scott

    @Roger -

    I don’t know if you saw the tournament game between PHO and POR, but even the announcers got into the “kick Kendall” thing for a bit.

  • DBreezy

    @Foreveris,

    Yeah it was stunning that they not only interrupted the game, but kept it going so long. Did anyone really want to hear the nuances of the instant replay changes for next season or the details on the NBA renewing their credit line? Nothing like breaking news that won’t occur before October for some of it and Oct 2014 for the rest of it.

  • shooter flatch

    If Trader Mac can get a stick with a rock taped to it in exchange for the Twit-err, the Suns should consider that a steal. I would.

  • foreveris2long

    I suspect over the next year or two we are going to find some significant differences between McLemore’s game and Goodwin’s. The most glaring IMO is Goodwin loves to get to the rim where he increases his chances of getting fouled. McLemore settles too often for the jump shot.

  • john

    @forever

    Most definitely. The more I see of Goodwin, the more excited I get about his future. He has some incredible tools and he seems to have the mindset required to make the most of them.

  • http://none Sillmarillion

    McCollum had another nice game. Why didn’t the Suns draft him?

  • Roger

    @Scott

    I didn’t see the tournament game but watched the previous 3 games. Yes, Marshall looked aweful – flat-footed, passing the ball when he was just 5 ft away, not driving when the lane was wide open, etc. But he also had couple of really nice steals under the Suns bucket.

    I just have a feeling he knows the days with the Suns are numbered either by intent (wants to get out of Phx, I suspect) or he just doesn’t have it. Either way, he’s avoiding contact so as not to get injured. If he’s injured now then I’m afraid he’ll be out of the league quicker than the un-drafted kids playing in the summer league.

    I also think he’s auditioning for half-court teams that are better at this stage than Phx.

    Having said all that, McD knows Kendall’s a good back-up insurance for any injury to other high-flying Phx guards until a trading partner comes calling for Gortat or Scola then he’ll be part of that package.

    Enough for KM on a good Fri. Have a wonderful weekend !!

  • Scott

    @Roger -

    Well, if you’re right and Marshall is actually auditioning for other teams, I hope one of them likes what they see and offers a sweet deal.

    Again, not hating on Marshall, as he’s only 21 and is still developing, but … a sweet deal is a sweet deal. :)

  • Foreveris2long

    Sillmarillion, McCollom was 9 for 26 from the field, with 5 assists in 30 plus minutes. That was not a very good game for him.

  • http://none Sillmarillion

    Yes, but he has the confidence to take over and Melo also very often needs tons of shots to get his points. And for sure it’s better to have McCollum than Len who won’t play due to injuries and imo is too weak for the NBA.

  • Voqar

    Sorry to anyone who’s delusional, but KButter isn’t an NBA player and was a horrific draft pick. The only way he gets any time is if his team is tanking.

  • Animan

    Does anyone else really like Diante Garrett?

  • Scott

    @Animan -

    I don’t particularly like Garrett as a player for the Suns, though I was certainly in his corner last season. But now I look at him and think he’s a guy who isn’t going to develop much more talent than what we presently see.

    My impression is that he could score more and be more aggressive on his personal offense, but he simply won’t do it, and that’s severely limiting.

  • foreveris2long

    McLemore had a good game tonight. Tony Snell as I suspected had a nice summer league. It appears there were some nice wings in this past draft.

  • Chad

    Kendall is probably a bust but let’s not make any rushed trades with any of our players at the moment. Are you guys a little worried that they think Archie is a point ? Really doesn’t look like it. It’s good to finally have a half exciting draft pick!!

  • SHAZAM

    every publication all over the world has an article about the suns up since this old frosted dog turd marshall entry…is there some religious holiday that only vots writers know about?…cmon guys…something before your press passes are revoked

  • Scott

    @Chad -

    I think the consensus impression is that the Suns want Archie to develop better court awareness and passing skills so he can do a better job of creating and assisting for others. He might play some PG this year, but his future is at SG.

    This aspect of the game, plus fixing his shot and getting stronger, are the main things he needs to work on.

  • DBreezy

    20 points on 5 shots for Goodwin today is outstanding, and he didn’t even exhibit the summer league hero syndrome and start jacking up shots relentlessly when he got going.

    What can really be said about Kendall? I’m not a huge plus/minus guy because I feel it can be very subjective, but Kendall’s zero plus minus was spot on today. He’s more aggressive and doesn’t look like a rookie out there which is great, but we’re seeing some ugly stuff. If you’re going to stubbornly hang your hat on passing and pretty much nothing else offensively, then you can’t have 2 assists to 5 turnovers. Especially when you have late turnovers in single coverage, keep making ill advised cross court passes, and throw several errant passes either wide or too hard. Also Buycks pretty much attacked him at will on both ends really.

    Sam Mitchell didn’t sugar coat it at the end of the broadcast. He said Kendall needs to do a lot of work on his decision making among other things and that as it stands right now he’s really close to playing himself into the D league. Mitchell said that in his opinion he’s behind Bledsoe, Dragic and Goodwin and that another season on the bench isn’t going to do him any good for what he needs. He said he needs 30-40 games in the D league. I’d give him training camp, but again if nothing’s changed by then I would not pickup his 3rd year option.

  • Scott

    @DBreezy -

    I think we’re seeing Marshall right now as he should have been last year.

    Yes, he made bad passes, but that could be good, in that maybe he’ll start to realize his passing isn’t the sturdy crutch he thought it was.

    Also, as we saw today against Toronto, he’s attempting to score around the hoop a little, and trying to keep dribbling the ball while under defensive pressure, which he didn’t do before.

    Will he stick with it? I don’t know.

    It’s all baby steps, but he basically held off his development last year by playing ultra ultra ultra conservatively, just bringing the ball up and then throwing it to someone.

    Maybe now he’s going to try to accept risk of failure, make his mistakes, and learn from them.

    Once SL is over, my recommendation to Marshall is for him to **immediately** begin work in earnest on fixing his shot, just throwing away his junky old shot and working with high discipline and commitment on whatever changes to his mechanics Hornacek recommends.

    I think he kind of needs to enroll in the NBA equivalent of AA, recognize he hasn’t done a good job of advancing his game on his own, and put himself in the hands of a higher power, in this case his coach.

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