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Sixers Tinder: The Kendall Marshall Experience

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It's hard sometimes to admit when you're wrong. Sometimes, however, you're so comically wrong that it's not that hard. This is one of those times.

Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

I have been wrong about my share of things in my 26-plus years of life. Everybody gets things wrong. Nobody shoots a hundred percent. Hell, you shoot 39% and you're a serviceable role player.

The breadth of things I have missed on is wider than just basketball. Some examples:

  • "Wow, all these holographic Pokemon cards are going to be worth a fortune when I'm an adult!"
  • "Stuffed cheesy bread? That's a can't miss Domino's creation."
  • "I'm not going to end up working for a newspaper, that's for sure."

There's more where that came from. I've been wrong about basketball too. Go back and read through some of my work here and you'll find some takes that I am not proud of. There's one take, however, that stands out above the rest in recent history. I thought Kendall Marshall was going to be a very competent point guard this year.

The hat trick of bad opinions. Where to begin?

From the beginning, the Kendall Marshall experiment was a wonky one. Marshall was recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in January 2015. ACL injuries are generally a 9-12 month injury, so most expected Marshall to miss a good chunk of the season. Most, however, did not apparently include recently deposed emperor of basketball operations Sam Hinkie, from a December 11th interview with ESPN's Zach Lowe.

Marshall's four-year, $8 million deal in September -- partially guaranteed, of course -- is an NBA footnote, but for Hinkie, it represented the path to normalcy. During the signing process, Philly's experts concluded Marshall -- who was recovering from a torn ACL -- could be available for opening night, Hinkie says. Instead, he's making his debut tonight for a 1-22 laughingstock.

"We predicted it wrong," Hinkie says. "That's my fault. I've made plenty of mistakes, and I'm sure I'll make more."

Like I said, nobody's perfect. And the timeline issue could have been glossed over if Marshall returned and began producing at the level of a lower-tier starting guard or at the very least, a competent rotation player.

That wasn't what the Sixers got, however. Marshall was never the quickest player in the world, and the injury may have sapped what little quickness he had previously. Offensively, he wasn't quick enough to penetrate and beat defenders, and his molasses-slow three point shot allowed defenders to sag off him, which allowed them to deny possession to Jahlil Okafor.

Worse yet, his lack of lateral quickness defensively made him essentially unplayable. In a world where Nerlens Noel was defending the paint at all times, turning defenders inside may have been an effective strategy, but with Okafor in the paint, it made baskets virtually automatic.

On the right team, Marshall's flaws might have been able to be covered up, allowing him to play a role as a bench point guard, which is probably his optimal role in the NBA. On the Sixers, however, the lack of a cohesive unit magnified his deficiencies, both injury-induced and pre-existing.

I'm swiping left on Kendall. He's a solid professional, but this is not the right situation for him to succeed, if that situation even exists post-injury. The next three years of his contract are all non-guaranteed, so the Sixers can cut bait at no cost by September 2. I think it would be the best move for both parties.