Laker Scouting Reports

Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby trodgers on Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:55 pm

Not even a third rounder! Love it. Thanks, R.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:27 pm

Xavier Henry:
Position: SF
Height: 6’6”
Weight: 220
Age: 22
Contract: $884,293 (’13-14)
Nickname: N/A
Years With Team: 0
Years With League: 3
Previous Teams: Memphis, New Orleans
Acquired: Free Agent '13

Henry is a southpaw with a reasonable usage rate, near the top fifth of small forwards. He exploits that usage by mostly being an off-the-dribble driver: he is 6th among SFs in layup rate, and over 70% of those shots come off his own drives. As a SF, though, he just has a fairly average dunk rate, but with the proper steps he has highlight reel ability. By far above anything else, Henry's best asset in his drives are his ability to draw fouls: he's easily first among Lakers, but also 4th among SFs, and would also be first for players who play over 20 minutes per game. He has a great ability to exploit or create seams with an eager first step and hesitation moves, and leverages his very strong body and aggressiveness well to create contact.

The problem with Henry's drives are that all the initial moves might look good, but the conversion is just shoddy. It's a bit of a "mostly substance, little meat" situation here. Henry usually is out of control by the time he reaches the basket, with a layup percentage that is near the bottom third of all SFs. He's also extremely unfocused when it comes to dunks, sporting a horrific 78% percentage there as of this moment. With questionable finishing, he does not bring much in terms of finishing through contact. Xavier has made only missed one of twelve free throw attempts since returning from injury, so there are a few inroads, but he's a very shaky free throw shooter in general (64.5% season, 63.3% career) who just does not really optimize all those free throw attempts he typically gets. He also does not contest for offensive boards, being in the bottom third of SFs in this area, and a major disappointment considering high rates here in previous seasons: he appears to be have given that up in favor of slashing.

In between very poor all-around conversion rates, Henry also has selfish streaks, with very poor court vision (bottom third of all SFs) and even worse handles (bottom quarter). Most notably, defenders often sit on his slashes knowing that he does not really pass the ball, with nearly a quarter of his turnovers being offensive fouls, a very high rate for a perimeter player. The other aspect is that Henry just does not have a reliable mid-range or pull-up game: while he's willing to attempt them, as they comprise 40% of his shots, his conversion rate is in the bottom third of SFs (34.0%). While the hardest part is oftentimes just being able to get to the basket and draw fouls en masse, he has so many primary weaknesses, between turnover proneness, little passing, and poor pull-up, layup, dunk, and free throw percentages, that it is hard to fully harness his special ability to dribble penetrate.

Henry has not quite found the range from outside: only nine SFs take fewer threes than he does, and considering he has made nearly twice as many threes as his previous three seasons combined, it is very likely the D'Antoni offense is the only factor encouraging him to fire more shots from outside than usual. He was sizzling a dozen games in, but those numbers have normalized into just decent numbers, but numbers that are completely untrustworthy given the low sample space, his previous history, and his general problem shooting free throws.

Defensively, Henry has been surprisingly good in both man-to-man and team defense across several positions, a major turnaround from previous seasons where he used hustling ability to camouflage poor all-around defense. Coach D'Antoni has asked him to guard both shooting guards and the occasional small forward, and he is adept at both, particularly with very good ability to contest shots at both positions. He's also in the top fifth in steal rate among SFs, but these rates are far above his norms. There are still major concerns: Henry is near the bottom 15% of all SFs in defensive rebounding rate, an absolutely pathetic mark for someone who likes to play near the rim offensively, and at small forward in particular, he gets outrebounded significantly due to lack of height (-3.9). He is also in the bottom quarter of blocks. Also, he's still on the foul prone end, near the top third in foul rate among SFs. Still, his ability to deflect passes and contest shots more than make up for his other limitations, and the Lakers are nearly six points better defensively with him on the court. He is not a beast on this end due to the rebounding limitations, but can become a defensive mainstay if puts more emphasis into this area.

Henry might be better served putting his defense on the forefront, as he has the strength and athleticism to contest shots well and the hands to swipe a few passes. His offense has an interesting wrinkle with his ability to manufacture trips to the free throw line, but if we were to have an actual shot chart, it would be orange or blue in many places, with no red. He's still extremely young, but with his already poor pre-existing conversion rates, combined with his recent right knee injury which has kept him out for over two months, it is questionable whether his dribble penetration can be a true asset. No one will ever play him honestly with any sort of jumper he shoots, as well. Of note is that offensively, Henry plays a far more polished style of offense at shooting guard, but at small forward, he's extremely inefficient even if he draws even more fouls out of that position. He might be a better fit at shooting guard, but he does not have the passing ability or the ability the keep defenses honest with his jumper. So there is even that question of fit. Overall, though, the defense is the ticket, and a Dahntay Jones-like career arc would not be surprising. He is a decent situational role player.

Spoiler:
Xavier's game has been amplified under D'Antoni's offense in the fifteen game early returns. His scoring rate has improved due to an increase in usage, as opposed to actually improving on efficiency. D'Antoni has played him at both wing positions: while he's far better at drawing fouls playing small forward, he's far more efficient as a scorer playing two-guard, and shooting guard appears to agree more with him.

In terms of personal offense, Xavier, as usual, is ALWAYS looking to get to the rim. And he can get there: he has a decent crossover, an eager first step and subsequent Eurostep, hesitation moves, and a sheer nose to attack. He leverages contact extremely well to draw a ton of fouls, and sadly, is one of the Lakers' only primary source for free throws. He also goes after offensive boards. This has a lot of limitations on a ton of fronts however: Xavier is still sorely lacking in secondary attributes on offense, being a head-down scorer with a very low assist rate and high turnover rate, and he's prone to getting offensive fouls because defenders sit on his slashes knowing that he is only looking to score. He's also a decidedly average athlete in slashing--he's more herky jerky than he is athletic, and as a singular minded slasher he is prone to throwing up junk against a full fleet of defensive trees. Finally, he has no runner game, so he cannot stop short of the trees to launch off a shot that is hard to block. He has never been even an average finisher in his career despite his desire to do so, and this season the efficiency is even worse, with awful early returns of 38.9% at the rim. Also, when he draws fouls, he has changing mechanics and tends to short-rim many of his free throws, only hitting 57% early this season, amplified by his many attempts. Overall, his ability to get to the rim is just better than his actual finishing--or, the concept is far better than the execution. And it is execution that matters.

There have been some inroads--Xavier, who shot 42% from triples in Kansas, has finally re-shown some of his range from deep: while the attempts are still limited in the grand scheme, for him, it is far more than what he's taken in his past three seasons, and he is hitting 44.4% currently, particularly scorching from both wings. While there are sample size and career average (34.7%) limitations to get too comfortable with this, for him, this is a step in the right direction. He also likes mid-range shots from the right wing where he has been decent in conversion.

Defensively, Henry surprisingly actually has been pretty good this season, in guarding both wing positions but also in team rotations. He's getting a few more steals in the early run, although his defensive playmaking is never anything to write home about. Just like on offense, defensively Henry's better as a shooting guard, where he fouls less and actually has an advantage in rebounding against his counterpart. Against small forwards, he fouls more and gets out-rebounded, even if he actually defends their shots better. Still, Henry's defensive rebounding has fallen off compared to the past two seasons, likely because he's playing small forward far more. Considering Henry was perceived as a hustle player camouflaging poor defense in past seasons, playing good all-around defense is a marked improvement for him.

Overall, Xavier has emerged as one of the many game-changing secondary options that populate D'Antoni's bench. In spite of his massive inefficiency in all things around the rim, he's still able to put defenses on their heels, a trait that's really only amplified in a Lakers team that absolutely struggles to draw fouls. The Lakers are nearly 6 points per possession better on offense with Xavier on the floor. That alone would make him valuable for this team, but he has also made inroads with key components that could help him build a home long term: three point shooting and defense. Thus, even though his game is whistle-dependent to get himself going offensively in a way that is a bit reminiscent to Corey Maggette, as he'll go through slumps otherwise, he has reversed course into what is more of a NBA viable player.


Spoiler:
Henry is extremely limited offensively, with a tick below usage rate for SGs, but to make matters worse he's been played out of position his first three years in the league. Offensively, shooting guards are characterized by having deep range and respectable passing ability: Henry has none of that. He had the absolute worst assist rate among SGs this year (62 out of 62 guards), and he's never been above 47th for his career; for someone who is completely inept at passing, he also has sported a slightly above average turnover rate career-wise as well. This isn't new: his one year in college saw NBA PF-levels of handles. Henry also lacks deep range, ranking 60th in three point attempts.

Henry's offense involves a heavy dose of spot-up mid-range shots (3rd) and at-rim attempts (7th) with side attempts at runners (18th), but none of these are really viable options. Henry struggles to finish at even an average pace, which isn't helped by average athleticism (he has an average dunk rate among SGs), but this year he decided to do more head-down slashing off his dribble, which has led to greater inaccuracy (54th in finishing rate this year) and more turnover proneness. He really tries hard to make things happen offensively, because he really drew the fouls (3rd with at-rim/foul drawing) and is a constant presence on the offensive boards (13th). However, while switching up runners to at-rim shots led to a slightly improved efficiency, the turnover proneness and lack of finishing undermine it somewhat. Likewise, the mid-range shots are awful: Henry's shot well below the average over the last two seasons, despite most of them being spot-up, and with a lack of range and free throw percentages between 61-63%, there isn't much hope in this front. Everything Henry does offensively is a weakness: opposing teams purposely leave him open 16 feet out because "can't shoot" is in their scouting reports, and are even happy to let him make decisions driving to the rim since "can't pass" and "can't finish" are also in those reports. It's virtually 4-on-5 on this end.

Defensively, Henry was awful this past season in New Orleans, on top of bringing negligible offense. New Orleans was already an awful defensive team last year, but somehow, Henry was their weakest link, being their worst at contesting shots. He doesn't gamble either, showing a serious lack of reflexes in accruing steals (41st this year; 54th his rookie year). But what Henry reeks of is "massive hustle player" on this end: he shows a major knack for drawing charges (5th this year an also his rookie year), and also shows a knack for getting the defensive boards, ranking 11th this year after an 18th ranking the previous year. Still, he's massively foul prone, ranking 61st this year and 47th his rookie year. Henry has somewhat of an unearned defensive rep, because while he looks the part, career-wise he's never been a stand-out in either man or team defense, and this year proves that he might be more Reggie Evans-ish on defense: gets the boards, draws charges, and hacks like crazy, but lacking in major nuances such as actually playing the defense.

Henry might have a future as a hustle player, which on offense manifests itself in drawing fouls and getting o-boards, and on defense by hacking, drawing charges and getting defensive boards, but he might still be at that phase where he's using his hustling ability to try to camouflage his severe lack of ability on both ends of the court, because of his previous standing as a lottery pick. On top of that, he's just a major tweener on offense--lacking the shooting and passing for SGs, but also lacking the athleticism, height and now suffering in rebounding if he's pegged as a full time SF. The reality is, at his current state, he's probably best as the third small forward off the bench who can operate as a hustling, energy guy, and with a fresh start with zero expectations the Lakers might see him that way.

His handles are forever broke, but there's precedence for good shooting, as he shot 42% from deep in college on top of a 78% free throw percentage, and also racked up steals and developed a 3's/D rep. That 3's/D role player rep seems super far away on both counts, but if he can deviate ever so slightly towards that again, that would help, as he's still young. Personally, it looks to me that his average athleticism has exposed a poor inside game and poor reflexes, and his shooting ability in college was a fluke, further exposing his inability to pass--and Kansas has a notorious reputation this decade for producing poor quality NBA players. Obviously, his career won't last long if he can't gain a footing on offense or defense, and it speaks volumes that he couldn't even last the full length of his rookie contract.
Last edited by rydjorker121 on Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:46 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby revgen on Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:45 pm

It doesn't sound like Henry is an NBA caliber player.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:05 pm

Yeah; also think he's mostly a hustle player. Upside is maybe Dahntay Jones, but that's a very poor upside...and D'Antoni won't like his inability to space the floor.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby abeer3 on Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:00 pm

so...singlehandedly beating the lakers remains totally un-diagnostic. this is disappointing on several levels.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby XXIV on Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:00 am

So he's basically a hustle player but if we play him at SF all he'd be good for is taking charges. I don't like his chances of making the team unless he completely renevated his game these past few months.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby karacha on Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:04 am

I don't think he will make the team... we have some nice players now, and although we're not a championship squad, we have depth now and some younger players who will play hard and work well in MDA's system. I'm not sure what X can suddenly change in his game to make the coach want to play him. Maybe I'm wrong... we'll see.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby therealdeal on Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:06 am

He's a camp invite so his chances for making the team are already pretty low. He's an athlete with some role player potential. There's a reason he was taken in the lottery not too long ago and that's why we gave him a call.

I hope he makes the team honestly. I'd love if we fielded a handful of the high level draft picks from the last few years that have something to prove to the league (Johnson, Young, Hill, and Henry). That'd be pretty fun to watch honestly.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby live and die in LA on Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:27 pm

The thing that confuses me about Xavier Henry is he was considered a good (some said great) shooter going into the draft by scouts. He is obviously a solid athlete with an NBA body, where did the jump shot go? I would have to think it's a mental thing, a camp invite is worth a shot.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Thu Nov 28, 2013 11:48 pm

Happy Thanksgiving!

Updated scouting reports on:
Jordan Farmar
Jordan Hill
Pau Gasol
Ryan Kelly
Shawne Williams
Steve Blake
Wesley Johnson
Xavier Henry

Through the first fifteen games of the season. See first post.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby revgen on Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:43 am

Thx Rydjorker.

@Farmar - You say that he should be starting based on what he's producing, but you also mention that he needs a high usage rate to be used most effectively. I don't think that's going to work when Kobe comes back. Steve Blake's low-usage style may be a better fit next to Kobe.

@Henry - If he can continue to improve his defense and be a good 3pt shooter, we may have a Danny Green-Bruce Bowen type of player on our hands with the added addition of drawing fouls.

@Blake - His passing may be "fools gold" as you say, but I think it will work better when Kobe comes back. It gives defenses another option that they have to think about. In the past, Blake has always been passive when Kobe is on the floor. Hopefully, that doesn't happen this time.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:32 am

Yeah, for those who have followed my scouting reports, I did a complete 180 on Farmar. Amazing, since I've hated his game before, but now I really believe he's learned. Farmar has always had that go-getter ability, so I'm happy to see everything come together. I think it should sustain over the course of the season, he's improved and solidified his game on multiple fronts.

Yeah, I think Steve Blake is a D'Antoni creation. He's just doing this passing schtick all of a sudden that's just way out of his career norms. Yet, when you watch the games, you believe it--I think SportVu tracking data has shown that he's getting some of the top mileage among players every game, and it's true--he's probing around a lot. And he's also got a bunch of point guard tricks--bounce passes, lobs, maintaining his dribble, etc. There's a part of me that believes his newfangled improvement and confidence, but at the same time if he was playing in a more conservative offense, he wouldn't be doing this. So I'm torn.

Henry at this stage is a Eurostep driving foul drawer--with our inability to draw fouls that's super important for our team. I need to see him take more threes to earn respect, and defensively he's actually decent, so here's hoping it's all coming together. I certainly think he's established himself as a NBA player at the very least.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby lukewaltonsdad on Fri Nov 29, 2013 9:13 am

Great synopses on what those three are bringing...Henry still needs to develop an intermediate game, IMO. But, no question, all three are playing good basketball...
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:59 pm

Kendall Marshall:
Position: PG
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 198
Age: 22
Contract: $non guaranteed (’13-14)
Nickname: N/A
Years With Team: 0
Years With League: 1
Previous Teams: Phoenix
Acquired: Free Agent '13

Marshall is an elite passer--his usage rate is right at the bottom third demarcation among PGs, but he's second among all PGs in assist rate. Using a special metric accounting for usage and assist rates, only Chris Paul has more assist power than Marshall--that is correct. Marshall's assists have more value than the next three (John Wall, Stephen Curry, and Ricky Rubio). Marshall has every pass in the playbook, accentuating his already tall height with a great upward stance to see over the top of defenses, and has great recognition of the roles every other Laker plays--he has a sizeable number of assists to the Lakers' three point shooters (Jodie Meeks, Wesley Johnson, Ryan Kelly, Shawne Williams, and Nick Young, in that order, each comprise over 10% of Marshall's assists). He also has a sizeable number of assists to two-point scorers (Pau Gasol, Jodie Meeks, Nick Young, Chris Kaman, and Wesley Johnson, in that order, each comprise over 10% of Marshall's assists). He has great chemistry with Meeks, Young and Johnson and really help to optimize both their two and three point shooting games. His overzealous passing has led to many teams to game-plan around his passes, and he likes to thread cross-court needles over the arms of outstretched defenders, leading to opponent steals; his turnover rate is in the bottom fifth of all PGs. But with passing like that, it is perfectly acceptable: he has the sixth best assist to turnover ratio in the league. And Marshall's intelligence here has led the Lakers to be about four points better offensively with him at the reins.

Despite the elite passing, Marshall's usage rate is on the low end because he puts very, very little priority in scoring. Back to the special metric, only three PGs put less priority in scoring (one of which is former Laker Steve Blake). With such low priority, Marshall's personal offense is extremely risk-free: he largely takes only the shots the defense gives him, and won't force anything. The only two shots he is willing to take are driving layups and spot-up threes from the wings. So very simplistic. Not surprising for someone of low usage, there are no intricacies to his game: no reverses, runners, offensive boards, very few pull-ups.

Marshall's only great source of offense is spot-up three pointers, and he has great recognition of that: nearly half of his shots are threes, 11th in attempts among PGs. And scaling for attempts, he's first among PGs in three point percentage. Marshall has a funky looking shot that is released in front of him, so he needs a lot of space to get it off. He often takes his threes several feet behind the three point line from the wings, which to his credit he really can make. Virtually all of his offensive value comes from spot-up threes from the wings, even if it feels tenuous given his mechanics and how out-of-the-blue his three point shooting was.

That's it for useful offense. Marshall is in the top third of PGs in driving layup attempts in which he waltzes to the rim and tries to flip out a shot quickly, but he is just average at finishing. With his severe lack of athleticism, Marshall, at 6'4", has zero career dunks as well, and even more than that, he has the absolute WORST foul drawing rate of all PGs, a case that was also seen his rookie year. Similarly, Marshall has no mid-range game, being in the bottom sixth of PGs in attempts, with very excellent reason: he has none. Only one PG shot worse on pull-up inclined mid-rangers than Marshall has. The reality is, Marshall just isn't a threat for personal offense mid-range in at all, unless you squint hard and like his average finishing layups with little backbone around it.

On defense, Marshall is woeful in virtually every cross-spectrum of defensive categories. The only thing approaching a positive, if you squint really hard, is that his man-to-man defense appears fairly average. Otherwise, it's a barrage of negatives. Marshall is a slightly subpar defensive rebounder, and despite his height posts a -1.8 rebound rebound differential against opposing PGs. He has an awful steal and block rates that are both near the bottom quarter of all PGs: his inability to force turnovers is a red flag for PGs, and for his height, that block rate is also a red flag. Marshall never fouls, but in light with his poor counting defensive metrics, that works against him: he never seems to hustle for boards, get to the floor for loose balls, or frankly make the loud play on defense. Opposing PGs put up decent scoring rates against Marshall, and the Lakers overall are over two points worse defensively with Marshall on the floor.

Marshall's game consists of two very great highs and a bunch of lows, with very few in between. His net negatives on broad-based defensive metrics and personal offense mid-range in are more than enough to undercut his elite passing and three point shooting ability, especially since the three point percentage is more likely to drop down than his weaknesses are to go up. Marshall simply needs challenges. How will he fare under a slower pace? How will he fare with more alpha offensive dogs who like to work under isolation? How will he fare with fewer minutes? If the offense is run less through him, will his tendency to be invisible for personal offense stand out more, and can his shooting hold up? There is a reason why teams with high-assist point guards tend to have very poor offensive efficiency team-wise: the Andre Miller Cavs, the Ramon Sessions' rookie year Bucks, the Jason Kidd Nets, the Rajon Rondo Celtics. But Marshall is a step down from those guys, not having the any of the at-rim ability of the first two but not having any pf the defensive metrics of the second two. He appears to be a bit of smoke and mirrors, but at least his gaudy stats in the perfect situation for him have at least put his foot well into the door.

Spoiler:
Eleven games into his Lakers debut, one thing above everything else has defined Marshall: passing. Marshall has the second best assist rate in the league on a fairly average usage rate: for this season, those rates top both Ricky Rubio and fellow teammate Steve Blake, indicating how much assist power he has. Only ten PGs have a worse turnover rate, but that's somewhat acceptable given the sky high assist rate. At 6'4", he can see over the top of defenses and is an aggressive passer who creates the angles and space, with every trick in the book: overhead, chest, bounce, lob, zip passes in traffic. With the sort of lineup the Lakers have out there, it's actually impressive that he's able to fish out so many assists, indicating that he's an elite passer. Quite a few of his passes are dangerous, and because teams play him for the pass, that has led to quite a few turnovers: 68% of Marshall's turnovers are stolen, and as the Lakers are last in the league at giving up fastbreak points, he plays a key role in giving opponents easy points.

In terms of personal offense, Marshall just really is not played properly against. Opponents happily give him space, constantly play him for the pass, and tend to go under screens against him, daring him to take the jumper. Marshall has a funky looking shot that is released in front of him, so he needs a lot of space to get it off, and he often takes his threes several feet behind the three point line, which to his credit he really can make. By and large, teams have conceded that shot to him because they want him to score for the Lakers, and while he's had a few off nights from distance when put under more duress, by and large he's hitting them--43%, and quite a few of them off the dribble. Because those consist of nearly half his shots, he's producing real value here, really helping him get a surprisingly average scoring rate, so at this point it might be smarter to defend him more properly here. Another fifth of Marshall's shots are driving layups, which he's converting early, but mostly due to the element of surprise--teams are afraid of the dish or pocket pass factor out of him, but to his credit Marshall knows how to exploit angles and releases quickly.

In terms of offensive weaknesses, Marshall simply lacks offensive athleticism to make the bigger dent, and that's the largest problem limiting his upside. In his at-rim slashes, Marshall is noticeably un-athletic here and never draws fouls in his ventures, and here's a damning stat: only Courtney Lee this season, among guards who have played twenty plus minutes, have drawn fewer personal fouls per game, so he puts very little pressure on the defense beyond passing. Other stats: nly six guards play comparable or higher minutes and score fewer fastbreak points than he does, and in terms of in-paint scoring only three guards (including fellow teammate Steve Blake) score less in general at the paint. At 6'4", he has zero career dunks. Marshall has no runner in his game, and as teams key in on him, it could be prudent to develop one. In addition, smarter teams force Marshall to pull up for mid-range jumpers, something he does a third of the time, and he's been pretty awful here at 29%.

And for defense, overall, Marshall is a poor defender. First, the positives: Marshall does outplay his matchup in a man to man, contesting shots well there with his height and surprisingly holding down the shooting numbers of Monta Ellis, Kyrie Irving, Jeremy Lin and Trey Burke, to name a few. Among Lakers guards, he actually does a fair job at guarding three pointers-- corner threes and above the break threes, per nba.com stats. With Marshall on the court, the Lakers do guard three pointers about two percent better, according to nbawowy research. He is an average defensive rebounder, at least.

Now the rest of the bad news: Marshall is pathetically anemic in getting steals--of 92 PGs, only SIX steal worse than he does, and this is nothing new for his career. The lack of steals is important: generally speaking, the Lakers do not force turnovers, but for Marshall they could lead to fast break points and easy assists, but he just does not have that in his back pocket. Also, he has four blocks in 59 career games, and is equally anemic there. Marshall's bottom line defense is one of the worst among Lakers as well: the Lakers' rotations are generally botched with him on the court, and he hemorrhages when it comes to rotations--the Lakers are nearly six points worse defensively with him on the court, in particular the Lakers get scorched when Marshall is on the floor in Wesley Johnson and Robert Sacre-fronted lineups.

Marshall relinquishes high percentages in all sorts of paint shots, including layups, being the second worst here among all Lakers guards. Opponents also shoot layups about six percent better when Marshall is on the court, and even shoot mid-range jumpers about two percent better. Marshall actually defends mid-range jumpers decently when he's in the vicinity, but he's a culprit in the porous rotations of the five-man lineups here, which is why opponents shoot better there when he's on the court. And here's a key statistic, per nba.com stats: turnovers in Marshall-helmed lineups are the most volatile in the league, by far, as they give up the most points off turnovers, and he's also the leading Laker guard in seeing second-chance points given up. While three Laker guards have bested him in this category, he's also a culprit in opponent fast break points. The Lakers give up points in easy ways, between turnovers, awful rotations, and second chance points when Marshall is on the court, and while he lacks the athleticism, he also has a bit of laissez-faire attitude on this end, never really fouling, utilizing hard box outs for rebounds, or diving to the floor for loose balls. He's lacking intangibles in this area as well.

So far, Marshall is an absolutely elite passer, even for NBA standards, and his core shots--surprising opponents with threes and a few layups--are holding up. It feels like it's on a tightrope, however, due to how defenses are playing him, but he's more than proven himself here nearly a dozen games in. Defensively he's OK in several areas but awful in core areas such as stealing, preventing dribble penetration, proper rotations and preventing easy points off turnovers, and that is what matters. It feels a bit tenuous on both ends, really because he lacks the athleticism on offense and the resourcefulness and intangibles on defense, and it's hard to be convinced he'll look this good in any other form of offense. At the end he's probably a good role player. But at least it's in-league material.

Spoiler:
Marshall's disastrous rookie season with Phoenix confirmed many of the doubts scouts had of him throughout his college career. Typically, the baseline for even a fringe NBA point guard requires at least two standout attributes, if the rest are net negatives. Marshall only has one--with the rest being net negatives. In a diluted league in the 1980s, that works; but in the modern day NBA where point guard is the position least in demand, that absolutely does not work.

Marshall has two net negatives on offense that are of major concern, and likely cannot be improved much over time: usage rate and athleticism. And these are attributes that help to optimize passing, and definitely undercut his only strength. Marshall is on par with current and former Lakers like Chris Duhon, Darius Morris and Steve Blake in terms of ability of create offense, with the eighth lowest usage rate among PGs last year. This is nothing new--he had absolutely pathetically low usage rates in his two years in college as well, a huge red flag for someone drafted on offense. The reality is, Marshall thinks invisible first, then pass second, pass third, pass fourth...and then comes the scoring. It's no surprise that Marshall put up scoring rates in college and with the Suns that are absolutely pathetic even for Division III college basketball, and despite his court vision, he's more invisible than he is a passer, leading to many 4-on-5 moments on offense. The second issue is athleticism: at age 22, and despite standing 6'4", Marshall had zero dunks last season. Zero. That's a huge red flag. On top of that, Marshall had an absolutely nonexistent free throw rate, another bad sign, was a subpar finisher, and rarely took shots around the basket. Simply stated, he's just not an NBA athlete, and this will only get worse as he ages.

The third net negative? Defense. In both college and the NBA, this was a huge red flag, both in terms of skill level and in just physical tools. In terms of skill, Marshall ranked extremely low on the ladder in defensive efficiency in both college seasons, and not surprisingly, was the worst among Suns players last season in actually being able to contest shots effectively. In terms of physical tools, Marshall as mentioned, lacks athleticism, represented by his very poor defensive playmaking and absolutely pathetic rebounding numbers, even for his size, in college. With the Suns, he was the second worst in these metrics last season. Marshall's lack of fouling makes it appear he is just lazy in this front, because he absolutely contributes nothing on this end, and like his scoring rate, this is at Divison III college levels of awful.

These are three hurdles that are virtually impossible to overcome, so it is not surprising why Phoenix's new statistically-inclined GM did an about-face and promptly traded his lottery pick just after one year, and then the Wizards promptly waived him. That ALMOST ALWAYS never happens for a lottery pick, but it goes to show that even the league is catching up to Marshall's limitations. For the Lakers, this is yet another reclamation project, and while they have scored on many of them, Marshall just reeks of fringe player based on his huge limitations on both ends, particularly with his severe lack of athleticism but also with his invisibility. Invisibility means the defender can leave him out to dry in the perimeter, and lack of athleticism and ineffective at-rim scoring means defenders can easily compensate to cut off his angles to pass and score, which is why his passing game is riddled with turnover proneness--Marshall had the fourth highest turnover rate last season, and also equally obnoxiously high turnover rates in college. His ability to pass is filled with a ton of risks that won't be alleviated until he actually improves the parts of his game that are hindering the passing angles. It is unfortunate, since he can definitely pass--he had the fifth highest assist rate among PGs last year, he has a great knack of seeing evolving defenses in the half court, can scurry within the rim to create passing angles, and in semi transition and has the array of passes, whether overhead, chest, lob or bounce passes. In D'Antoni's PG-centric offense, this can be maximized.

So, to improve the passing angles, the only in-roads he can make is with his jumper: he did hone a good pull-up jumper in college and a decent three point shot, but subpar free throw percentages were a huge red flag, and moreover, the sample size of his three pointers were just OK. Last season? With his lack of athleticism, he was virtually forced to just take three pointers--about half of his shots were threes--with disastrous results. He was the third worst jumpshooter among all PGs last season, across all mid-range, three point and free throw platforms. He's just an OK jumpshooter at best, given the aggregate, but OK won't cut all the negatives that permeate his game, and his Bakersfield D-League stint corroborated all this, with both hideous two and three-point percentages there.

Apparently he got the memo that he needed to really hone his jumper, because in his Delaware D-League stint this season, he's shooting 46% on 3's and 79% on free throws before the Laker call-up, and taking a far more aggressive approach in ball dominance and scoring. He's also rebounding better. His ability to score inside the three point line is still as bad as ever, but nonetheless, even with a seven-game sample, he's definitely more aggressive and improving his jumper, even though the likely scenario is deviation back to just an OK jumper overall and offensive passivity, since that is what he was otherwise represented all his life. Marshall just has way too many structural weaknesses on both ends of the court, and that undercuts his only strength (passing), and the only attribute he can improve on (shooting) likely leads to just an OK scenario. He can be a slight boon as an improved, aggressive passer with shooting ability, and he certainly will have to optimize those in order to work around his other weaknesses. The reality is, he's likely just a fringe NBA player, at best.
Last edited by rydjorker121 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:27 am, edited 10 times in total.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby sister golden hair on Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:17 pm

rydjorker121 wrote:Kendall Marshall:
Position: PG
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 198
Age: 22
Contract: $non guaranteed (’13-14)
Nickname: N/A
Years With Team: 0
Years With League: 1
Previous Teams: Phoenix
Acquired: Free Agent '13

Marshall's disastrous rookie season with Phoenix confirmed many of the doubts scouts had of him throughout his college career. Typically, the baseline for even a fringe NBA point guard requires at least two standout attributes, if the rest are net negatives. Marshall only has one--with the rest being net negatives. In a diluted league in the 1980s, that works; but in the modern day NBA where point guard is the position least in demand, that absolutely does not work.

Marshall has two net negatives on offense that are of major concern, and likely cannot be improved much over time: usage rate and athleticism. And these are attributes that help to optimize passing, and definitely undercut his only strength. Marshall is on par with current and former Lakers like Chris Duhon, Darius Morris and Steve Blake in terms of ability of create offense, with the eighth lowest usage rate among PGs last year. This is nothing new--he had absolutely pathetically low usage rates in his two years in college as well, a huge red flag for someone drafted on offense. The reality is, Marshall thinks invisible first, then pass second, pass third, pass fourth...and then comes the scoring. It's no surprise that Marshall put up scoring rates in college and with the Suns that are absolutely pathetic even for Division III college basketball, and despite his court vision, he's more invisible than he is a passer, leading to many 4-on-5 moments on offense. The second issue is athleticism: at age 22, and despite standing 6'4", Marshall had zero dunks last season. Zero. That's a huge red flag. On top of that, Marshall had an absolutely nonexistent free throw rate, another bad sign, was a subpar finisher, and rarely took shots around the basket. Simply stated, he's just not an NBA athlete, and this will only get worse as he ages. The trickle down effect to passing is that defenses will always play him for the pass in penetration knowing he cannot finish, and that is why Marshall had the fourth highest turnover rate last season, and also equally obnoxiously high turnover rates in college. He has definite court vision, but he forces passes to work around the limited angles the defense gives him due to his own limitations, which increases the turnovers.

The third net negative? Defense. In both college and the NBA, this was a huge red flag, both in terms of skill level and in just physical tools. In terms of skill, Marshall ranked extremely low on the ladder in defensive efficiency in both college seasons, and not surprisingly, was the worst among Suns players last season in actually being able to contest shots effectively. In terms of physical tools, Marshall as mentioned, lacks athleticism, represented by his very poor defensive playmaking and absolutely pathetic rebounding numbers, even for his size, in college. With the Suns, he was the second worst in these metrics last season. Marshall's lack of fouling makes it appear he is just lazy in this front, because he absolutely contributes nothing on this end, and like his scoring rate, this is at Divison III college levels of awful.

These are three hurdles that are virtually impossible to overcome, so it is not surprising why Phoenix's new statistically-inclined GM did an about-face and promptly traded his lottery pick just after one year, and then the Wizards promptly waived him. That ALMOST ALWAYS never happens for a lottery pick, but it goes to show that even the league is catching up to Marshall's limitations. For the Lakers, this is yet another reclamation project, and while they have scored on many of them, Marshall just reeks of fringe player based on his huge limitations on both ends, particularly with his severe lack of athleticism but also with his invisibility. About the only in-roads he can make is with his jumper: he did hone a good pull-up jumper in college and a decent three point shot, but subpar free throw percentages were a huge red flag, and moreover, the sample size of his three pointers were just OK. Last season? With his lack of athleticism, he was virtually forced to just take three pointers--about half of his shots were threes--with disastrous results. He was the third worst jumpshooter among all PGs last season, across all mid-range, three point and free throw platforms. He's just an OK jumpshooter at best, given the aggregate, but OK won't cut all the negatives that permeate his game, and his Bakersfield D-League stint corroborated all this, with both hideous two and three-point percentages there.

Apparently he got the memo that he needed to really hone his jumper, because in his Delaware D-League stint this season, he's shooting 46% on 3's and 79% on free throws before the Laker call-up, and taking a far more aggressive approach in ball dominance and scoring. He's also rebounding better. His ability to score inside the three point line is still as bad as ever, but nonetheless, even with a seven-game sample, he's definitely more aggressive and improving his jumper, even though the likely scenario is deviation back to just an OK jumper overall and offensive passivity, since that is what he was otherwise represented all his life. Marshall just has way too many structural weaknesses on both ends of the court, and that undercuts his only strength (passing), and the only attribute he can improve on (shooting) likely leads to just an OK scenario. The reality is, he's likely just a fringe NBA player, at best.


Great analysis. I hadn't seen this when I put my two cents in in another thread.

Metrics are fine, but I'd still like to see this guy get some burn in this offense. I don't like the pure sabermetrician approach to evaluating players. I like to actually see the guys given a chance to play. I didn't watch the Suns when he was there, but wasn't that team in free-fall anyway? (BTW, it seems miraculous to me that they somehow rescusitated themselves given their recent history -- it feels fluke-ish. Maybe Hornacek is a damn miracle worker, though.) At any rate, Mitch is an old UNC guy and maybe he's simply doing a fellow Tarheel a solid. But the guy can pass, and if he's managed to hone the jumper, he may surprise. I've never been one to judge a player purely (in abstracted fashion) on his physical measureables or stats. A lot depends on system and teammates. I hope this guy can offer something on the court. At this point, there's not a lot to lose.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby revgen on Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:33 pm

Thanks Ryd.

The kid is in the D-league for a reason. So I'm not too surprised.

However, I think he's a better option than bringing Morris back. A fringe NBA player is better than a player who simply doesn't belong in the NBA at all. He understands MDA's system, so no need for training camp.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby karacha on Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:11 am

The guy is an above-average passer who, if he's truly improved his shot - can contribute in MDA's system.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:18 pm

Eh, I think Kendall Marshall is Steve Blake, with a worse three point shot and far worse defense. We'll see. He'll have games with maybe a three and double digit assist games, for sure, given the opening, but I doubt he goes beyond that, and he could be a net negative overall.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby trodgers on Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:20 pm

rydjorker121 wrote:Eh, I think Kendall Marshall is Steve Blake, with a worse three point shot and far worse defense. We'll see. He'll have games with maybe a three and double digit assist games, for sure, given the opening, but I doubt he goes beyond that, and he could be a net negative overall.

I see a ton of Steve Blake in Marshall from the limited clips I've seen - worse shooting and worse D for sure. A bit better passing but only a bit. And the assists and net negative sound like exactly what he did as a rookie.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby KB24 on Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:12 pm

Ya I'm not sure Marshall is NBA material. I haven't seen too many games with him but I haven't seen anything special that makes me believe that his best case scenario is better than an average backup spot.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby abeer3 on Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:34 pm

when I saw him in college, I thought his passing was top 1%, and that that might carry him. it hasn't, and it probably won't. but, ya know, three injured pgs...
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:19 pm

Updated Jodie Meeks and Robert Sacre's profiles. :jam2:
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby LTLakerFan on Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:57 pm

Re Jody, and Rob as well….. you have a great way with words, rydjorker121, and describing players for us in these great reviews. :jam2: :jam2: :bow: :bow:

"Based on what we have seen, in five-man lineups, optimizing Meeks requires an aggressive pass-first point guard in a free flowing motion offense where the ball does not stop, because when unconscious, Meeks has a quick trigger, and a stellar spot-up three pointer, knowing how to navigate to his spots off the ball. But under bogged down offenses, Meeks becomes very streaky, because he has a tendency to rush his shot and lacks ballhandling skill to get separation when forced into pull-up threes."

"His drives are still awkward--he is a straight line driver with very limited ballhandling ability, lacks craftiness and athleticism, and needs to propel off both feet to get a shot at the rim, and the slightest disturbances last season led to some out of control ventures. Moreover, defenders do not need to play him for the pass, so the increase in at-rim ventures has increased his turnovers somewhat. What he has done this season, however, is leveraging his body to finish, so his finishing has went from Derek Fisher-levels of awful to relatively average."


To the last paragraph my thoughts are it may be "average" but damn I find myself enjoying it every time now he puts his foot on the gas pedal headed for the rim. No more cringing. Like with his J most of the time. Seems more times than not now on these fast drives they are going in or he's getting fouled out of necessity or both. And he's not losing the ball much any more on these balls out drives to the hole. Has really seemed pretty explosive to me now athletically with how well he is using what he has physically.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby Alcindor on Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:47 pm

"Absolutely pathetic" used three times in one scouting report in not a good sign.
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Re: Laker Scouting Reports

Postby rydjorker121 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:19 pm

By the way, I'm thinking about updating Kendall Marshall's scouting report...but it's just two games. And he was playing the worst defense in the league (Utah) and some of the worst interior defense in the league (Hickson and Faried). I'm going to use the upcoming road trip as the true barometer.

If you want my early opinion, I'm impressed, but mostly because we haven't had a point guard quite like this above anything else. 32 assists in two starts?...that's insane. The Triangle offense was so point guard averse, and frankly, Smush Parker, Chucky Atkins and Derek Fisher simply weren't passers for the position. Even old age Gary Payton got stymied. And of course, post-Phil, we had so many passers like Kobe and Pau, even Nash and Sessions had their assist rates undercut.

I subscribe to the rookie year assist inflation theory (RYAIT)--anyone remember Ramon Sessions' 24 assist game as a rookie back with the Bucks? Or Darren Collison's consistent assists in the high teens when CP3 got injured in New Orleans? Both of them pass like shooting guards now. For all intents and purposes, Marshall, at age 22, is almost like a rookie to me. But unlike those two--he's always been doing "passing" all his life, from North Carolina to the D-League. Everyone's been covering it--dude is a passer. Like every true floor general, he recognizes the moving chess pieces on the floor, and has shifty subtle movements to make weak defenders overplay certain guys. Overhead passes, hydroplaning zero-gravity bullet train passes in traffic, drives and dishes, and "next generation" passes from wing to wing. Excellent demeanor, perfect timing. Every second where a defender is overplaying is exploited. And his decision making calculus is immediate. No second guessing, which is why (albeit against awful defensive teams) he's not turning it over.

But we kind of knew that his passing is way superior to everything else, which might be weaknesses. There are several subtle things I like so far--he's rebounding far better than I expected, although the Lakers keep getting outrebounded anyway it's hard to tell. He's aggressively coming off the pick and roll and looking to attack, and has shifty moves to get himself free for layups--Steve Blake and now Steve Nash at his age just simply don't do that. He seems to have innate shot making ability--he's made several of those 30 foot long bombs from Venice Beach. But the reality is, he needs a lot of space because he shoots the shot in front of him, which makes it prone to getting blocked, and it looks like he has a slow release. Looking at his career long bomb work I'm going to wager he's just an average three point shooter, anyway. Even the slightest disturbances can throw that shot off kilter, and frankly with his passing and past offensive passivity every defender should be going under the screen and daring him to shoot (that's one thing Trey Burke really, really screwed up in).

On defense? It looks to me the guy has a higher center of gravity than most, which he means that he can't move his feet as quickly. Against speedsters who are really aggressive, I think he'll really suffer. He brings little actual deflection ability. His defense couldn't cut mustard at all last year in Phoenix.

So, I'm impressed in the passing given the Laker history, but long term I'm cautiously optimistic. He kind of reminds me of what Greivis Vasquez did in 2012-13 for New Orleans--his rough stats over the course of a full season were 43.3% FGs, 34.2% 3FGs, 80.5% FTs, 9 assists, 3 turnovers, 0.8 steals per game. Passing above everything else. And like Greivis, he's tall and unathletic (both had 0 dunks last year). Granted, Kendall has far more of passing work, appears to shoot better from distance, but he's also less aggressive of a scorer. But that means Kendall's likely more adapted as a role player than Greivis is, and the difference? Kendall's doing this at age 22--Greivis did that at age 26. A 4-year age difference is a lifetime in NBA terms. So I think Kendall has definite staying power, but I'm thinking fringe starter over time here, at best.
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