Can Kendall Marshall Be Lakers’ Long-Term Answer at Point Guard?

Short-term answers sometimes provide long-term solutions.

The Los Angeles Lakers have spent decades chasing "sure things." Energy has been devoted to paying superstars in pursuit of sanguine ceilings. Nothing less.

Out of necessity, the Lakers have shifted gears, fielding the nameless and trusting the unproven. And though it hasn't resulted in many wins, silver linings exist.

In Nick Young's emergence as everything the Lakers need, they exist. In Pau Gasol's resurgence, they exist. In Ryan Kelly's rise from obscurity, they exist.

In Kendall Marshall's point guard play, they exist. And are blinding.

There have been quite a few hiccups along the way, but his success dwarfs any mistakes. Initially cast aside by the Phoenix Suns, the former lottery pick has found a home in coach Mike D'Antoni's the-ball-will-find-energy offense.

A stable, lasting home.


Numbers Never Lie

Truth, both good and bad, is found in numbers. 

Marshall's turnover issues are alarming. He can be thoughtless and infuriating with his on-ball decisions at times; his 3.1 turnovers per game are just the beginning.

Of all players averaging at least 30 minutes a night, Marshall's turnover percentage (26.0) is the highest. No one else is even close; Ricky Rubio checks in at second, 3.8 percentage points below Marshall (22.8).

But that's the risk you run in D'Antoni's fast-paced offense. The Lakers rank third in pace, and with more possessions come additional mistakes. 

Fourteen games is also an awfully small sample size. Over time, with more experience, Marshall's on-ball decision-making and ball-protection can and should improve. 

But say they don't. Say he's fated to continue coughing the ball up at an eye-popping rate. Even then, he's still the answer at point guard for these struggli...

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