Recently signed from the D-League, Kendall Marshall has been phenomenal for the Los Angeles Lakers in his short time with the team. In Friday night's win against the Utah Jazz, Marshall racked up 20 points and 15 assists, including shooting 2-of-3 on three-pointers.
The Lakers have struggled to find a ball handler all season as Steve Nash has been battling back and nerve issues since November. His backup, Steve Blake, is recovering from a torn ligament in his elbow.
So far, the move looks to have worked out well. Marshall has increased his assist numbers each game in his last three outings for L.A., and his shooting stroke has been strong. The second-year guard is shooting 58.3 percent from beyond the arc.
That being said, it's just three games and his numbers are in stark contrast to what we've come to expect. Marshall is averaging career-high numbers in PER, eFG%, AST% and ORtg.
It should also be pointed out that his three-point shooting percentages are up despite his three-point attempt rate being down. That sort of screams "small sample size" (if the three game period didn't already).
Los Angeles' competition hasn't exactly been fierce during Marshall's tenure, either. The Lakers have played Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Utah since his arrival, teams that are a combined 29-71.
Mike D'Antoni is likely a large part of Marshall's success. Chris Duhon saw career numbers in FG%, assists, free throw attempts and points when D'Antoni took over the New York Knicks in 2008. Ray Felton saw a similar spike in production when he was traded to the D'Antoni-led Knicks in 2011.
Marshall was a top-15 pick and it's not surprising to see him put up big numbers quickly for the Lakers. Many of his assists are coming in transition or on the secondary break, setting up quick plays for teammates when Los Angeles has no advantage.