Preseason Player Profile: Kendall Marshall
The consensus about Marshall seems to be he’s quite possibly the perfect point guard for this Carolina team. With an NBA first-round-talent frontcourt, the team needs a distributor who can find his playmakers in their ideal spots. Luke Winn’s preseason power rankings illustrate just how “pass-first” a point guard Marshall is, and if you watched him at all last year, you know this is true:
Sam: Like most of the prognosticators, I agree that with so much talent around him, Marshall is perfect for this team. There are so many mouths to feed that it’d be difficult for a scoring-minded PG to really facilitate the kind of dominating force this team can be. That being said, I disagree with some of the experts who say that Marshall lacks the elite talent that his fellow Wooden Watch teammates possess. Roy Williams has compared Marshall to Jason Kidd, and I think that’s an apt comparison. Making passes is easy, even Larry Drew II could do that. The real art of passing is getting it to your teammates in the right spot, something that Marshall does exceptionally. Harrison Barnes was a can’t-miss superstar prospect entering college, yet before Marshall took over at point, he didn’t live up to those expectations. We all know what happened after Kendall stepped into the starter’s role. Coincidence? Just to reiterate my point, you try hurling a 90-foot lob just over a team of defenders to a streaking 7-foot big man so that he doesn’t even have to dribble before putting down the deuce, then tell me that Marshall doesn’t have elite talent.
Benn: I agree on the talent argument. People seem to think that just because he’s a pass-first type of player it must mean that he lacks the tools to score. Marshall is not the current breed of point guard like Derrick Rose. He does create more and make players around him better, but we’ve all seen him get into the lane and make lay-ups in traffic:
Not to mention he hit 3s at a 38 percent clip. The turnaround he facilitated after becoming a starter and the gaudy assist numbers makes us forget what else he brings to the table. With that being said, if Marshall develops any injuries this season – the back spasms are frightening – this team steps back. A lot.