As the Lakers try to right the ship, it is Kendall Marshall who is at the controls.
Kendall Marshall admits he’s been through worse on the basketball floor. The 2013-14 season looks bleak for the Lakers as the injuries have mounted, leading to the team welcoming 2014 as owners of a six-game losing streak.
Marshall, the 13th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, was a part of a Phoenix Suns team that won just 25 games last season. After being traded to the Wizards and then being waived, he found himself in the D-League as a member of the Delaware 87ers.
Now, as the Lakers try to right the ship, it is Marshall who is at the controls.
With Wednesday’s news that Jordan Farmar will miss a minimum of four weeks with his second hamstring tear of the season, Marshall is the only healthy point guard on the Lakers roster.
Just six days after returning from a three and a half week absence due to a hamstring tear, Farmar suffered another tear in his left hamstring in Tuesday night’s home loss to Milwaukee.
An ultrasound revealed the tear early Wednesday. Although it is in the same leg as his last injury the tear is in a different place, the team announced.
Marshall’s first order of duty?
Farmar: "I'm extremely frustrated." Said the hamstring is keeping him from "making explosive moves." Doesn't want to re-tear it.
"Find a way to win," Marshall said. "That’s the main thing I’m only worried about right now."
The point guard has seen action in four games since being signed by the Lakers on Dec. 20. His playing time increased significantly, however, in the last two.
Marshall had 10 points and seven assists in 28 minutes off of the bench in the loss to the Bucks.
Going fast is not an issue for Marshall. He’s made that adjustment quite well. Going at a fast tempo was mandatory for him in his college days, orchestrating Roy Williams’ secondary break at the University of North Carolina.
Lakers have a 7-game road trip before they get Kobe, Blake, Farmar, Henry, Nash back – good lottery pick looks like the destination
"I feel like that’s what I do well and that’s what we do well as a team," said Marshall of playing at a high tempo. "When we play fast we’re usually more successful."
There is some hesitancy in Marshall’s game that has forced the pace to slow down for he and the Lakers — his shooting. Since his days playing youth basketball, Marshall has always looked to get shots for his teammates before looking for himself.
On Tuesday night, teammates could clearly be seen on the floor telling him to shoot the ball. Marshall obliged but it took some nudging.
"Everybody has the green light on this team, and if we have an open shot we want to take it, so everybody encourages everyone to shoot it," said Marshall, who’s shooting 57 percent from the field with the Lakers. "I think I’m starting to get the hang of it. It takes time, obviously, trying to change a habit I’ve been doing for 21 years, but slowly but surely I think I’m getting better at it.