Kendall Marshall

Catching Up with Kendall Marshall

Kendall MarshallIn three seasons, Kendall Marshall has already undergone a lifetime of experience in the NBA.

The Suns selected the point guard out of North Carolina with 13th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Marshall struggled to find consistent minutes in a crowded Phoenix back court.

The following summer, Marshall was dealt to the Wizards to help facilitate the deal for Marcin Gortat.

Washington had just signed John Wall to a five-year $80 million contract extension and had no use for Marshall, waiving him three days after the trade was completed.

Without a roster spot, Marshall signed with the Delaware 87ers, of the NBA Developmental League, hoping for another chance to get back into the league.

Two months later, numerous injuries to the Lakers guard rotation opened a place for Marshall and he seized the opportunity.

Milwaukee guard Kendall Marshall is averaging 6.2 points and 5.1 assists a game this season.
Milwaukee guard Kendall Marshall is averaging 6.2 points and 5.1 assists a game this season.

The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 8.8 assists a game, tying Wall and Ty Lawson for the second most in the league.

Not only was Marshall able to prove himself as a passer, he returned to the NBA with an improved 3-point shot, connecting on nearly 40 percent of his attempts last season.

After making 45 starts, the Los Angeles waived Marshall, hoping to re-sign him to a reduced contract and pursuing the marquee free agents last summer.

Only Milwaukee claimed the 23-year-old off waivers to strengthen the point guard rotation.

A month into his tenure with the Bucks, Shatter the Glass caught up with Marshall to discuss his improved 3-point shot, what it’s like playing for Jason Kidd and much more.

The point guard position is the strongest in the NBA, how does that motivate you, knowing you can’t take a night off?

There’s multiple great point guards on every team, so I think it’s an exciting time because you are really getting challenged on a daily basis. You always have something to strive towards.

The Bucks are one of the teams that have depth at point guard, what does that mean for you?

We have a lot of capable guys on this team. We are lead by Brandon Knight, who’s playing tremendous basketball. He is running the team great, scoring the basketball like he’s always been able to. You have Jerryd Bayless who is one of our vets. He may not be there age wise, but he brings a lot of tenacity to our team. And you have me and Nate Wolters, young guys that are still learning the game, still getting better. We are always ready when our number is called.

You spent much of your practice time working on your 3-point shot, how important has that been for you?

It’s huge, I’ve spent a bunch of time on it. You can’t be the same player every year, you have to continue to bring new things to the table. Your team can’t just look as you as a passer. I have to continue to get better and continue to try and be more consistent shooting the ball.

How many 3-pointers a day would you say you shoot?

It’s not really a number, it depends on how I’m feeling. It can be anywhere from 100 to 300 just depending on the day. It’s just all about the feel.

Coach Jason Kidd (left) and point guard Kendall Marshall (right) are both in their first season with the Bucks.
Coach Jason Kidd (left) and point guard Kendall Marshall (right) have helped the Bucks start the season with a 5-5 record.

On the floor, you were shooting over a defender. How important is it to practice all the different looks you get?

It’s different for different guys. Personally, my two things are being able to shoot with a contest and getting my shot of quicker. You have to find what you have to master to contribute on the court.

What does it mean having Jason Kidd as your coach?

It’s been huge, he’s been teaching us a lot, which I think is good. He’s not letting anything slide, he holds us accountable. I think that is great for a team like us, and we are going to continue to get better.

What is something specific he has taught you or showed you?

I’d say the multiple ways to run a play. You don’t always have to do this or end up with that, there’s a lot of things that you can do. I can’t go into too many details with our plays and everything, but he does a good job of always having a solution out on the court.

If there is one goal for yourself this year, what would you say that is?

To win. One of my most important goals this year was to contribute on a winning team, I think that is important in this league.

Milwaukee has been doing that, can you talk about your early start this year?

I think we’ve had a pretty good start we could be even better. We dropped two winnable games, we are happy, but not satisfied. We see the room for improvement, but we also see the potential of the team that we can be.

What do you think is the biggest area of improvement for this team going forward?

I think consistently playing with energy. When we do play with high energy and get out into the open floor, I think we are very hard to compete with. When we start turning the ball over, or getting into a half court set, it’s a little harder for us. I think we need to continue to take care of the ball, get out into the open floor and we will be ok.

About Brendan Galella

Brendan Galella founded Shatter the Glass to make the NBA even more accessible to basketball fans. Composing player rankings, team evaluations and intriguing observations, he hopes to turn every reader into a dedicated and educated basketball follower.

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