Los Angeles Lakers

Who Is the Most Underrated Player on the LA Lakers This Season?

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Kendall Marshall dribbles around Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Caron Butler, center, and Oklahoma City Thunder shooting guard Jeremy Lamb during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, March 9, 2014. The Lakers won 114-110. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)
Danny Moloshok/Associated Press
Richard LeContributor IIIMarch 13, 2014

If there's one thing the Los Angeles Lakers can take out of this monstrosity of a season, it's that there is some redeemable young talent on this team who can potentially help them as they try to rebuild.

Perhaps the most underrated player on the roster this season has been Kendall Marshall, who will remain with the team next season.

A throwback to the pass-first point guards of old, Marshall's endeavors as the facilitator of the offense have been overshadowed by the overwhelming amount of losses the Lakers have accumulated this season. With over 40 losses, the story of the Lakers' mediocrity has rightfully taken precedence over feel-good stories like Marshall's. 

David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Hired out of necessity by a Lakers team that was struck down by an enormous amount of injuries, Marshall was able to come in and keep order in a below-average offense. Don't misunderstand the praise; Marshall is by no means a game changer or an All-Star.

In fact, he would struggle to start on most NBA teams. However, he does bring a lot of skills to the table that would make him a great backup point guard if the Lakers are able to structure their roster better in the following seasons.

Perhaps his two biggest weapons are his ability to shoot the three when open and his ability to orchestrate an offense. While he isn't the best pick-and-roll or drive-and-kick point guard, he knows how to find his teammates in their sweet spots and is always looking to pass the ball rather than score. However, he is also a deadly marksman, making 43.0 percent of his three-point attempts this season.

Although he is no defensive stopper and isn't the most dynamic player, he knows his strengths and executes them really well. He is the perfect type of player who would thrive in a supplementary role off the bench and would have received more praise and recognition for his strengths if the Lakers weren't struggling as much as they are.

While some of his 8.5 points and 9.5 assists per game can be attributed to a player putting up big numbers on a bad team, his consistency in terms of accumulating assists and hitting the three from game to game indicates that Marshall would still be a threat in those niche areas even if the Lakers were more competitive. 

While players like Jodie Meeks, Xavier Henry, Nick Young and Pau Gasol have all rightfully received praise and recognition throughout the Lakers' troubling season, Marshall is the one player who has not received as much fanfare as his cohorts.

However, in all honesty, none of the Lakers' players truly deserve any praise or recognition due to their abysmal record and horrendous efforts on both ends of the court this season.

However, if one player has to be chosen from this travesty of a season as the most underrated of the roster, it would have to be Marshall.

Here's hoping he gets a fair shake at contributing when the Lakers are actually winning ball games.

 

All stats are from NBA.com/Stats unless otherwise indicated and are accurate as of March 12, 2014.

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