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Examining Kendall Marshall’s Emergence with Los Angeles Lakers

January 6th, 2014 at 9:04 PM
By Anousheh Emadi

'The competition was hot.' photo (c) 2011, Official U.S. Navy Page - license: Although the Los Angeles Lakers currently rank 13th in the extremely competitive Western Conference, the Purple and Gold may have found their hidden gem. 

In his two NBA starts this season, Kendall Marshall has exceeded expectations with the Lakers by averaging a potent 14.5 points and 16 assists.

Although Marshall's play may be a small sample size, he is the first Laker to drop 20 points and 15 assists since Kobe Bryant in 2002 where he scored 23 points and dished out 15 assists. In Marshall's second start, he finished with 9 points and 17 assists, making him the first Lakers player since legend Magic Johnson to accomplish that feat.  

With injuries to a long list of guards— Bryant, Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar, Xavier Henry— Marshall's surprising emergence is at an ideal time.

Despite losing seven of their last eight games, the 22-year-old point guard's encouraging play has given the Lakers hope for the future.

The former lottery pick out of North Carolina was considered the second best point guard after Damian Lillard from the 2012 NBA draft. While he certainly did not live up to those draft expectations in his rookie season, Marshall has the opportunity to solidify himself as a quality NBA point guard with the Lakers.

The storied franchise had playoff aspirations coming into this season, but due to an injury-riddled squad— particular L.A.'s depleted backcourt— the Lakers are struggling to stay with the playoff pack.

While the team is awaiting for a healthy backcourt, Marshall will receive a fair amount of minutes, and this will develop the young point guard's skills on the court.

Clearly, Marshall's unexpected emergence with the Purple and Gold have given Lakers fans a feel-good story.

Tags: Basketball, Damian Lillard, Kendall Marshall, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Lakers, Magic Johnson, NBA, NBA draft, point guard, season, Steve Blake, Steve Nash, Western Conference, Xavier Henry

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