Saturday, May 9, 2009

Jordan Farmar Comes Through For The Lakers

Jordan Farmar gets the job done

Lakers point guard Jordan Farmar reaches for a loose ball after scrambling over Houston's Aaron Brooks (background) in Game 3 on Friday night.

Backup point guard fills in nicely with Derek Fisher suspended.
By Mike Bresnahan
May 9, 2009
Reporting from Houston -- These had been lonely days for Jordan Farmar.

As the Lakers began navigating through the playoffs, and their fans became fascinated with Shannon Brown, Farmar was a forgotten man, his minutes dwindling to the point where he didn't even get off the bench in three playoff games.

Then came Friday, the most important game of the Lakers' playoff run so far, and the reserve guard was in the starting lineup for the first time since the Lakers' last game in the 2007 playoffs.

It was by necessity, the Lakers forced to go without Derek Fisher because of a one-game suspension, but Farmar delivered, finishing with 12 points, seven assists and five rebounds in almost 33 minutes of the Lakers' 108-94 victory over Houston.

On one play, he dived for a loose ball along the sideline, flung it to Trevor Ariza after crashing to the court, and was credited with an assist after Ariza dunked. On another play, he faked a shot and found Lamar Odom underneath for a dunk as the shot clock wound down.

"It's a tough business. You've just got to be ready," Farmar said. "You never know when your opportunity is going to come. No one in the world would have guessed Derek Fisher would be suspended for a game. It's funny how things work out."

Afterward, as Farmar slapped on a pair of headphones to do a radio interview, he shook his head and cursed his free-throw shooting down the stretch. He made four of six.

He then smiled at courtside reporters, spread his arms wide and said, "What's up guys? What'd ya think?"

Farmar's headstrong nature has irritated the Lakers' staff from time to time, though Coach Phil Jackson hoped the third-year player had taken a turn in recent days.

"I can only hope that he's learned that minutes are not something that are given to you, they're something that you earn," Jackson said. "With the amount of talent that he has around him, he's got to produce.

"I think that's one of the things that he's learned. He's been coming in and shooting, he's been playing hard and doing all the right things."

Free Fisher?

Here's what the Lakers were missing without Fisher, in Jackson's view:

"Derek's been a knockdown shooter in the playoffs for the last 10 years," he said. "He has a way of, if guys are all feeding into Kobe [Bryant] all the time and giving the ball to them and he's demanding the ball and they're [not] being able to say no, [Fisher] will go away somewhere else and get the offense started away from [Bryant] and then come back to him later in the clock."

One entrepreneurial Lakers fan took it a step further, marketing purple and gold T-shirts on the Internet that say "Free Derek Fisher" next to an image of Fisher's face.


1 comment:

  1. It's nice to see the boy playing again. Funny how people can forget about you when you are hurt or get injured.