It was going to be borderline impossible for Suns rookie Kendall Marshall to meet the expectations of the rabid fans out here. He was not only a lottery pick, but is widely seen as the future of the point guard position with the departure of Steve Nash.
Keep in mind this is Summer League. All you can get out of this type of setting is whether a prospect is a deer in headlights or if he can perform on this stage.
This Summer League debut (yes, I differentiate that from the actual season debut) for Marshall was an inauspicious one as he managed just one field goal attempt finishing scoreless for the game. His five assists were offset by five turnovers so the play-making was not up to par for the rookie either. Before the game the Suns coaching staff lead by Dan Majerle was vocal about wanting to see Marshall attack more looking for his shot.
In general Marshall has a style that he plays with that makes him a successful basketball player and made him the No. 13 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
"It takes some adjusting," stated Marshall after the game. "There is plenty I still need to learn and I look forward to that. It is just a matter of getting better and learning from your mistakes."
Throughout the game, Marshall was timid on offense not really attacking, but did a pretty good job of setting his teammates up. He did his job out there it was just not the Suns night as a team. According to Marshall that was the key in the game, "We had some open looks that we couldn't knock down, I feel we will be ready to go tomorrow."
The game ended leaving the Suns 1-1 overall in Summer League after losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers 89-74.
Markieff Morris stood out again and is really taking his role as the leader of the team this summer. With a double-double after the first quarter the tone was set for this to Morris' night. For the game he tallied a game high in points (24) and rebounds (17) with great confidence and presence.
"Markieff played well, played hard," Coach Dan Majerle. "I asked him to be a leader in the Summer League and he has done that and he has taken it very seriously."
There was some chemistry with Marshall and Morris as they connected on a few nice pick-and-pop plays resulting in open looks for Morris. That duo has some promise, but it was their first time in real, live game action to test what they have been working on in practice.
"He is a quiet kid. He is confident, but he is really quiet," Majerle on Marshall's personality. "Everyone does it their own way, he is a quiet guy, but he is going to have to be able to not only lead by example, but be vocal."
All in all that last statement by Majerle is everything good and bad about the way Marshall played in his debut. He is a quiet confident player that has played one style, a successful style, but one that he will need to break from to find success in the NBA.
Again, this was the rookies debut into the NBA. Not the overall defining (nearly) 29 minutes of his professional career. The Suns will not have to wait long to avenge this one as they take the court less than 24 hours after this one against Austin Rivers and the New Orleans Hornets.
You can get more Suns coverage at Bright Side of the Sun.