Kendall Marshall is getting playing time.
After riding the bench for most of the first part of the season, Marshall has assumed the role of Goran Dragic’s backup over the last month or so, giving the former UNC star a chance to play at the NBA level.
The results have been a mixed bag, with Marshall showing the passing ability that had the Suns so high on him but the shooting struggles that had some draft experts questioning the selection.
In all, Marshall looks every bit the 21-year-old he is on the floor.
“I think he’s a kid that really needs to learn how to play at this level,” Suns analyst Tim Kempton told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Monday. “Obviously he’s a very good open-court player.”
Kempton said Marshall is at his best when pushing the ball because he sees the floor well and is a good passer, but the NBA is more about half-court offense, which is where Marshall could use some work.
Marshall is averaging 2.2 points and 1.8 assists per game on .404 shooting, while hitting on .321 percent of his three point attempts.
“He’s going to really have to work on his game to do more of those things,” he said. “The explosiveness to get to the basket, the ability to shoot off the move.”
Kempton noted that Marshall’s “not bad” when his feet are set and the ball finds him, but added he has to work on other ways to score.
“When defenses play off, go underneath the screen, then it takes the pick-and-roll right away,” he said. “So Kendall Marshall’s got a lot to work on from a scoring-standpoint to be able to be a starting point guard, to be a guy that you can count on night in and night out.”