Suns’ Marshall More Confident After D-League
After struggling to find a place in the guard rotation for the Phoenix Suns, rookie point guard Kendall Marshall was assigned to the teams’ D-League affiliate, the Bakersfield Jam. While some would feel disrespected with such a demotion, Marshall threw himself into the D-League experience. He used the nine-game stint to improve his defense, willingness to shoot and getting into better game shape.
“Defending pick-and-rolls, trying to get over them as fast as possible and, secondly, confidence,” Marshall said of the products of his D-League time. “It’s just being aware of picking my spots, where I could take my shots. I naturally can get guys involved, but I still have to be a threat so it’s easier on my teammates. Those are two big things I got out of it, as well as just playing. It’s been a long time since I played that many minutes in a game (30.9 per game).”
Marshall lived up to his playmaking reputation, leading the D-League with 7.6 assists, but also to his poor shooting reputation. He made 31.3 percent of his shots and 22.2 percent of his 3-pointers.
“I’m not worried one bit about the shooting percentage,” said Marshall, the Suns’ No. 13 pick in June. “My biggest thing was to have the urge to take the shot. That’s something I’ve never done before, so I was happy with myself that I took those shots with confidence. You’ve got to take baby steps.”
Bakersfield Head Coach Will Voigt thought the Jam’s 6-3 record with Marshall was the best indicator of his success there. He also noted Marshall’s progress on defense, especially in this week’s final appearances.