Kendall Marshall, or KButter5, as he’s known on the internet stratosphere, is trying his best to right the ship in Lakertown, USA. He’s currently averaging 8.1 points, 3 rebounds, and an impressive 8.9 assists per game. The Tar Heel alum has vastly improved the L.A. PassTheBallToKobe’s…er, Lakers since he came to Tinsel Town. The young 22 year old is in his second year and has already played more games and made a greater impact than he did his rookie season. The question then becomes: Can he keep it up?
There’s no doubt in my mind that Kendall Marshall can continue his growth as a starting point guard in the NBA. Here’s why:
1) He’s made improvements in leaps and bounds from his first season to this year.
Mr. Marshall has already begun to show his worth for the Brokedown Lakers (formerly known as Showtime), starting in 40 out of his total 49 games played. The 40 games started is up from 3 games started for the Phoenix Suns. His field goal percentage is high for a point guard, 40.5%, and his three-point percentage of 39.9% is above average as well. He has 435 assists, which translates to at least 870 points for the Lakers.
2) Everyone loves to shoot. Kendall loves to pass.
#12 for the L.A. Lakers is a prototypical Jason Kidd point guard. He wants to make it easier for the guys on his team to get buckets. Who doesn’t love that in the NBA? Answer: Everybody loves it. The man enjoys getting his teammates involved more than himself, and that leaves him open for big shots and easy runners when the situation calls for it–hence, his high field goal percentage.
3) He can use this season as a building block going forward.
The Lakers without Kobe are the equivalent of the perennial Bobcats (minus this year). They’re just no good. They fight and scratch for that eighth spot in the highly competitive western conference, but will more than likely fall short. Kendall Marshall on the Tar Heels got a first hand look at what happens when massive expectations are placed on his shoulders. Without him breaking his wrist, the Tar Heels would have stood a great chance of getting another banner to hang in the Dean Dome.
This year though, he can expand his game without having to pay such close attention to game situations. If he wants to work on his three-pointers in real game speed, he can. If he wants to focus on runners, he has that ability.
4) Kendall Marshall Can Scan for Potential Future NBA Teams
The Lakers are getting toasted game in and game out, as a whole. Even for how great Kobe is/was, he couldn’t get it done without Shaq or Pau Gasol. Kobe’s not going to be back the rest of this season. He’s also getting fairly old. There have been talks of trading Gasol out of Los Angeles. What would that leave? It would leave a lot of room for the Lakers to get a big-name player that could win right away with Kobe (since he’s got so many miles on him). That would leave a lot of importance on keeping Kendall Marshall, a pass-first point guard, in L.A. Somebody’s got to keep feeding the big names a steady diet of easy baskets so they can pad their stats. Who better than Chef Kendall, master of the no-look pasta pass?
This could also be a strong bargaining chip for him to restructure going forward. He could stress the impact he’s made on the struggling Lakers and say, “well, if I helped my team this much with broken toys around me, imagine what I could do with a healthy hall of famer like Kobe and another big name player?” It’s all up to KButter5, going forward.