kendall marshall

With many questions regarding the Lakers needing to be answered this offseason, it looks like two point guards will continue to don the purple and gold next season while the head coach’s future in Los Angeles remains a mystery.

According to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, both Steve Nash and Kendall Marshall will both be brought back by the team.

For financial reasons, the Lakers currently plan to keep (Nash) next season, The Times has learned, eating the remainder of his contract ($9.7 million) in one swoop instead of waiving him and spreading the money out over three years…  They also plan to keep Marshall, the 13th selection in the 2012 draft, whom they signed as a free agent a little more than three months ago.

A few months ago, it seemed as if it were going to be a foregone conclusion the Lakers would waive Nash using the stretch provision, but now it seems as if the team would rather wait and allow all of Nash’s salary to come off the books next summer, opposed to paying his contract over the next three years.

Marshall has a non-guaranteed option worth $915,243, so it makes sense to bring him back regardless of his role moving forward.   Marshall does average 8.9 assists, but his shooting ability has declined every month since joining the team in December.

As for Mike D’Antoni, his future will reportedly be decided immediately after the season ends in April:

The Lakers have a dilemma with D’Antoni, who coached the Suns for five successful seasons. They still owe him $4million next season and don’t want to look like a franchise with a coaching turnstile.  But Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol don’t support his small-ball offense and Lakers fans don’t support him, period.  So the team will decide fairly quickly after the April 16 regular-season finale — pay him to not coach the team, just like Mike Brown, or try to make it work next season….

Despite the injuries, it is very difficult to see the team bringing back D’Antoni after one of the worst seasons in Lakers history. His poor game-management, troubled relationships with veteran players, and lack of defensive system are just some of the reasons working against the coach.

His job security was in question even before reports of Kobe being against retaining the coach due to offensive system preference and as Bresnahan says, the fans are not very fond of him either.

Last week’s POW: Nick Young

So this week we’ve seen the emergence of Kendall Marshall as a great fill-in for the injury riddled backcourt of the Los Angeles Lakers.  With his exciting “D’Antoni-esque” style of play there’s no wonder why he seems to be flourishing in D’Antoni’s system.  However, it’s not just Marshall that stood out this week, Pau Gasol has shown dazzling chemistry with new PG Marshall.

So without further ado, this week’s player(s) of the week is:

Kendall Marshall / Pau Gasol

Kendall Marshall and Pau Gasol have both shown spectacular chemistry over the past week with both of them posting great numbers. Marshall in his first week as starting PG has put up 13 PPG, 13 APG, and 4 RPG, with a couple particularly strong performances in which he put up 15 and 17 assists.  Pau Gasol has posted 24 PPG, 11RPG, 5 APG, and a solid 3 BPG.  These two have seemed to click instantly on the court as Marshall knows who to find when he needs someone consistent and likely to score a bucket.

Photo Credit | Tony Gutierrez AP

Photo Credit | Tony Gutierrez AP

Photo Credit | Tony Gutierrez AP

Photo Credit | Tony Gutierrez AP











If these two can continue their chemistry the Lakers should be better off than they currently are sitting eight games under .500.  However, with rumors that Pau is going to be moved before the deadline and uncertainty surrounding the Lakers’ roster, this great pair may only be able to play together for a short time.  Regardless though, they’ve played some fantastic basketball over the past week and Lakers fans should continue to see a high level of performance from this new duo.

Photo courtesy of Bill Baptist, Getty Images

Photo courtesy of Bill Baptist, Getty Images

January 8, 2014 — 5:00PM (PST)
Toyota Center, Houston, TX
TV: TWC SportsNet / TWC SportsNet Deportes
Radio: 710 ESPN (English) / 1330 ESPN (Spanish)

The Los Angeles Lakers (14-21) come into tonight’s rematch vs. center Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets (22-13) with no momentum, especially after losing last night’s game vs. the Dallas Mavericks, 110-97. Their defense was not much better last night, allowing the Mavericks to shoot over 50% from the field goal in three of the four quarters

To make matters worse, G/F Nick Young struggled last night dealing with a back issue and his availability for tonight’s game is uncertain. If Young cannot play tonight, the Lakers are left with only eight healthy players available for tonight’s game.

The Lakers have been running their offense throught PG Kendall Marshall, and C/F Pau GasolMarshall did not have as good of a game last night as he did during his first 2 starts, scoring 18 points but only dishing out 6 assists and committing 6 turnovers. Gasol also struggled for the first time since he had a relapse from his sinus infection, scoring only 15 points on 5-14 shooting and grabbing 13 rebounds.

Meanwhile, the Houston Rockets come into tonight’s match-up looking to seek revenge from their last match-up when Lakers PG Steve Blake hit the game-winning 3 pt. shot. C Dwight Howard has had another all-star season from the Center position, averaging 17.4 PPG, 12.9 RPG, and 1.8 BPG. Howard still has offensive deficiencies at times, but has shown great defensive prowess for the Rockets this season, something the Lakers dearly miss. Another all-star, SG James Harden has definitely enjoyed his tenure for the Rockets, averaging 24.4 PPG while dishing out 5.2 RPG. Harden’s craftiness while attacking the basket will once again cause the Lakers a lot of problems tonight.

Projected Starters

PG - Jeremy Lin Kendall Marshall [Advantage: Rockets]

SG - James Harden / Jodie Meeks [Advantage: Rockets]

SF - Chandler Parsons Wesley Johnson [Advantage: Rockets]

PF - Terrence Jones Pau Gasol [Advantage: Lakers]

C - Dwight Howard Robert Sacre [Advantage: Rockets]

Notable Bench Players

Rockets: PG Aaron Brooks, F Omri Casspi, G Francisco Garcia, Greg Smith 

Lakers:  G/F Nick Young, F Jordan Hill, Ryan Kelly

Bench Advantage: Even

Injury List

Rockets: Out-C Omer Asik, Out-PG Patrick Beverley, Questionable-SF Chandler Parsons, Questionable-F Greg Smith

Lakers: Out-G Kobe Bryant, Out-PG Steve Nash, Out-PG Steve Blake, Out-G Xavier Henry, Out-PG Jordan Farmar, Probable-G/F Nick Young

Keys for Lakers Victory

Defense: The Lakers’ defense did not fare much better vs. Mavericks, allowing 110 points and allowing them to get easy shots up. Their defense will be exposed again, especially since both guards, Harden and PG Jeremy Lin, love driving to the basket and creating shots for themselves and their teammates. Gasol should not have too much trouble guarding Howard one-on-one, but the Lakers will be vulnerable guarding the other 4 players on the floor.

Shoot the Ball Well: Is taking a lot of three-point shots a recipe for a championship? Absolutely not. However, it could be the only recipe available for the Lakers to give themselves a shot to win tonight’s game. When the Lakers defeated the Rockets in their last matchup, the Lakers made 45.7% of their three-point shots. Since the Lakers have been devastated by numerous amounts of injury, players like SG Jodie Meeks have to shoot the ball extremely well tonight with confidence for the Lakers to even have a chance at the end to steal the game from the Rockets.

Bottom Line

Hopefully the Lakers will play as inspired tonight as they did during their last meeting vs. Rockets. However, the Lakers roster looks much different now, with all of their point guards who started off the season on the roster now out for the foreseeable future. With the Lakers’ ship sinking quickly the way it is, Laker Nation can only hope for the Lakers to keep themselves respectable vs. Rockets throughout tonight’s game.


Rockets: 98-85

Pau Gasol / Dirk Nowitzki
Pau Gasol / Dirk Nowitzki

Photo: Ronald Martinez | Getty Images

January 7, 2014 —- 5:30 PM (PST)
American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
TV: TWC SportsNet / TWC SportsNet Deportes
Radio: 710 ESPN (English) / 1330 ESPN (Spanish)

The Los Angeles Lakers (14-20) go on the road to battle the Dallas Mavericks (19-15) tonight and seek to shake off a very ugly loss vs. Denver Nuggets on Sunday. They gave up 137 points to the Nuggets. That number is unacceptable regardless of the opponent, especially the Nuggets who are not a very talented team this year in comparison to the rest of the Western Conference teams.

The Lakers will not win any games for the rest of the season if they continue to not put any effort on the defensive end. For Lakers fans, they find difficulty remembering the last time the Lakers scored 115 points in a game and still lose by more than 20 points.

The Lakers have also released F Shawne Williams today, in a cost-saving move to save the Lakers about $1 million.

However, the Lakers have many positive things working for them at this moment.

Lakers PG Kendall Marshall had another productive night, dishing out 17 assists while adding 9 points. Marshall has thrived in giving his teammates open shots and make great passes that only a true point guard can make.  Without another ball-handler available for the Lakers, they hope that Marshall will not get injured by playing too many minutes.

Also, the Pau Gasol trade rumor is finally over! For now. After multiple rumors that Gasol was headed to Cleveland Cavaliers for former Laker C Andrew Bynum‘s contract, the Cavaliers threw a major curveball, acquiring Chicago Bulls all-star Luol Deng.

Despite all the trade rumors, Gasol has looked much better on both ends of the floor, having more energy and looking as healthy as he has been in years. Forum Blue and Gold’s Darius Soriano mentioned that in Gasol’s last 10 games, he is averaging 18 PPG, 10 RPG, 4 APG, 2 BPG, with a solid 51% shooting percentage. Those numbers are very identical to his average during the Lakers’ championship run.

The Dallas Mavericks look to close out their 3-game home series on a positive note after losing their first 2 games. After overhauling their roster every season after winning the 2011 NBA Championship, the Mavericks have finally stabilized their roster by signing  starting PG Jose Calderon and starting SG Monta Ellis to multi-year contracts this off-season.

However, the Mavericks are still built around their franchise cornerstone, PF Dirk Nowitzki. Highly regarded as the best “stretch-4″ to ever play the game, Nowitzki has seemed to regain his old form after having a very poor season last year. Nowitzki has averaged 22.9 PPG, and 6.5 RPG, and shooting 49,8% from the field.

With Calderon, Ellis, and SG Vince Carter having the ability to drive to the basket and create their own shots, the Lakers have to make sure they stayed focused on the defensive end.

Projected Starters

PG - Jose Calderon Kendall Marshall [Advantage: Mavericks]

SG - Monta EllisJodie Meeks [Advantage: Mavericks]

SF - Shawn Marion Wesley Johnson [Advantage: Mavericks]

PF - Dirk Nowitzki Pau Gasol [Advantage: Even]

C - DeJuan Blair Robert Sacre [Advantage: Mavericks]

Notable Bench Players

Mavericks: G Vince Carter, F Brandon Wright, F Jae Crowder, C Samuel Dalenbert

Lakers:  F Nick Young, F Jordan Hill, F Ryan Kelly

Bench Advantage: Even

Injury List

Mavericks: Out-PG Devin Harris 

Lakers: Out-G Kobe Bryant, Out-PG Steve Nash, Out-PG Steve Blake, Out-G Xavier Henry, Out-PG Jordan Farmar

Keys for Lakers Victory

Defense, Defense, Defense: The Lakers failed on the defensive end vs. Nuggets allowing 137 points and clearly could not stop the fast break points, allowing 30 points, 22 of which came in the 2nd half. Now, we cannot expect the Lakers to give up 137 again, but if their defensive effort becomes as bad as it was on Sunday, tonight’s result vs. Mavericks tonight will result in a loss regardless of how well the Lakers play on the offensive end.

Bottom Line


Hopefully the Lakers will play inspired basketball tonight knowing that Gasol’s still with the Lakers and that this season is not over yet. However, they are outmatched talent-wise by the opposing team again, so they have got to play very well on both ends of the floor, something they have not done so recently. Unfortunately, the matchup vs. Mavericks will not be much easier for the Lakers especially since the Lakers are trying to fix their defensive deficiencies.

Mavericks: 110-98

Photo courtesy of Doug Pensinger, Getty Images

Photo courtesy of Doug Pensinger, Getty Images

January 5, 2014 — 6:30 PM (PST)
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA
TV: TWC SportsNet / TWC SportsNet Deportes
Radio: 710 ESPN (English) / 1330 ESPN (Spanish)

The Los Angeles Lakers (14-19) face the Denver Nuggets (15-17) tonight to cap off a 4-game home series before the Lakers head off on a 3-game road trip. Both teams won their last game after suffering long losing streaks. The Lakers look to build off their win after snapping a 6-game losing streak

Lakers PG Kendall Marshall had a career night last game, scoring 20 pts. and dishing out 15 assists, both a career high in a much needed 110-99 victory over Utah Jazz. Marshall seemed completely comfortable for the first time wearing a Laker uniform since he realized he is now the only ball-handler on the team. For one game, he perfectly fit the prototypical Mike D’Antoni style point guard, always keeping his head up when pushing the ball and helping his teammates get wide-open shots. Marshall also made 2 big plays as he got Jodie Meeks a wide open three by making a cross-court pass and hitting his own three pointer to close out the game vs. Jazz.

Center Pau Gasol, who has once again found himself in the middle of trade rumors, had his best game this season, scoring 23 points, grabbing 17 rebounds, and dishing 8 assists. Outside of driving aggressively to the basket, many of Gasol’s jump shots were in the right mid-range area after running the pick and pop action with Marshall, where he is currently shooting 51.4% this season.

The Denver Nuggets, who snapped their 8-game losing streak during their last game, look to build off their win also as they come into Staples Center. Former Lakers guard and assistant coach Brian Shaw now coaches the Nuggets after replacing former head coach George Karl. as with previous teams, this version of the Nuggets depend on a balanced attack, led by PG Ty Lawson. Lawson, who averages 17.4 PPG, 8.1 APG, and 1.4 SPG, has caused the Lakers major problems throughout his career, quickly pushing the ball down the floor for easy fast break points and driving aggressively off on-ball screens. The Nuggets have suffered from major off-season losses, losing F Andre Iguodala, G Corey Brewer to free agency and F Danilo Gallinari to a torn ACL last season.

Projected Starters

PG - Ty Lawson / Kendall Marshall [Advantage: Nuggets]

SG - Randy Foye Jodie Meeks [Advantage: Nuggets]

SF - Wilson Chandler Wesley Johnson [Advantage: Lakers]

PF - Kenneth Faried Pau Gasol [Advantage: Lakers]

C - JJ Hickson Robert Sacre [Advantage: Nuggets]

Notable Bench Players

Nuggets: G Nate Robinson, F Jordan Hamilton, F Darrell Arthur, C Timofey Mozgov

Lakers:  F Nick Young, F Jordan Hill, Chris Kaman, F Shawne Williams

Bench Advantage: Nuggets

Injury List

Nuggets: Out-F Danilo Gallinari, Out-C Javale McGee, Out-G Andre Miller

Lakers: Out-G Kobe Bryant, Out-PG Steve Nash, Out-PG Steve Blake, Out-G Xavier Henry, Out-PG Jordan Farmar

Keys for Lakers Victory

1. Stop Fast-Break Baskets: Although the Nuggets are 15th this season in fast break points after ranking 1st in that category for the last 2 seasons, they are still capable of pushing the ball down the floor. The Lakers have to start the game very aggressively and not be lethargic and lazy sprinting back on defense. Since the Lakers shoot a lot of jump-shots, they should always have at least 2 players back on defense as soon as the Lakers shot goes up to prevent any easy fast-break points.

2. Play Relaxed and Shoot Well: The Lakers seemed to be playing much more relaxed last game, and it showed in their shooting percentage. The Lakers shooters, notably G Jodie Meeks, F Shawne Williams, did not hesitate to shoot the ball last night, resulting in shooting 41.7 % from behind the 3 point line. Marshall and Gasol, who combined for 23 assists vs. Jazz, should once again handle the ball the majority of the time and give teammates more open shots tonight.

Bottom Line

With all the trade rumors clouding the future of the Lakers, they look to ignore that and stay focused for another crucial game tonight. Hopefully the Lakers can start the game very strong and stay focused without letting the Nuggets go on a lot of runs. After a very encouraging win on Friday, expect the Lakers to come away with a close victory tonight vs. Nuggets.


Lakers: 105-103

Image: Andrew D. Bernstein | Getty Images
Jordan Farmar

Image: Andrew D. Bernstein | Getty Images

The injury blows continue for this depleted Lakers team.

According to a Lakers’ press release, an ultrasound Wednesday showed point guard Jordan Farmar has a tear in his left hamstring. The tear is expected to keep Farmar out for at least four weeks.

Farmar injured his hamstring in the Lakers’ loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on New Year’s Eve.

The tear, however, is in a different location than the one that Farmar suffered on December 1st.

PG Kendall Marshall is now the lone healthy point guard remaining on the Lakers’ active roster.

Christmas Day, the Lakers took on the defending champion Miami Heat in a close, hard fought match-up. While the game turned out better than most predicated, lost in the Christmas frenzy was the return of reserve guard Jordan Farmar. Farmar had been out of the lineup since Dec. 1st with a torn left hamstring. While his presence is certainly good for then point guard less Lakers, Kendall Marshall has not played enough nor knows the system well enough to qualify just yet, Farmar, will still need time to recover as he noticeably would not explode off his left hamstring during the game.

Photo Credit: WCB Sports

Los Angeles Times reporter Melissa Rohlin spoke to Farmar about his comeback,

“I felt like I didn’t play basketball for a month, just the timing, everything just felt a little off,” Farmar said.

Like previously mentioned, Farmar did not look like his normal self. Sitting out for almost a month and then coming back to play against the Heat certainly did not help but one has to appreciate how much Farmar wanted to be on the court to help contribute. When asked about his performance he held no gripes in mentioning how he does not fully trust his left hamstring just yet.

“Just knowing that it kept me out for a month, and not wanting to make that explosive move that might set me back,” he said. “I’ll gain more and more confidence, and then hopefully it’ll get out of my mind and I’ll just be able to play.”

Farmar played almost 33 minutes on Wednesday, while recording three points (he shot one for seven from the field), five rebounds, two assist, and four turnovers. While those numbers are not his averages they certainly are acceptable for someone coming back so soon after being out and not being able to do many basketball related activities.

“I haven’t even played five-on-five since I got hurt, so this is the first time I’ve really played basketball,” he said.

Coach D’Antoni spoke on Farmar’s performance and said ”his next game will be better,” and “and a week from now he’ll be rolling.” That is great news for the Lakers since Farmar’s aggressiveness and lead guard abilities have been sorely missed. Jordan will need time to heal and slowly integrate back into his old form as the explosion off that left hamstring will be needed time and time again throughout this season. With just he and Kendall Marshall to play point for the Lakers, Xavier Henry too until Steve Blake is back, the team will count on him on every game as he will undoubtedly have some tough match-ups ahead. Farmar’s injury is just one of many for this Lakers team so far but the commitment he has to even return so soon to help make this club better is something special and will go a long way.


In the wake of losing Kobe Bryant for six weeks and the complete lack of a point guard on the roster, the Lakers have signed point guard Kendall Marshall, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski. Marshall was the 13th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft out of the University of North Carolina.

With Steve Nash, Jordan Farmar, and Steve Blake all out with injuries, the Lakers needed to reach out and sign a point guard desperately. In the meantime, Xavier Henry will run the point until Marshall is ready to take the court.

Marshall should be a great addition to a Lakers squad who could greatly use his youth and athleticism. Marshall has certainly improved by playing in the NBA Development League for the Delaware 87ers this season.

What do you think of the signing, Nation? Let’s hear your thoughts.

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