Jordan Farmar Is Earning The Backup PG Spot

Kurt —  December 20, 2009

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Shannon Brown is the crowd favorite. His dunks ignite the Lakers faithful like only Kobe with the game on the line can do — heck, they have their own Web site and twitter following. But more than that, he has shown potential on defense, potential under pressure situations. Shannon Brown, a relatively quiet person by nature, is getting a big outpouring of love in Los Angeles.

But, based on the last few weeks, Jordan Farmar has been the one winning the backup point guard job. The guy half the Lakers fan base wants to trade away has been staking his case to be kept after the season, or at least as too valuable to give up if the Lakers want to win a title again this year.

In the past 10 Lakers games Jordan Farmar is shooting 60.5% (eFG%) to Shannon Brown’s 43.4%, and his numbers are better from three (a key role for the PG in the triangle). Farmar is also leading slightly in assists and steals.

But the stats tell only a portion of the story (as always): Right now Jordan Farmar is running the offense better than he ever has, he is making smarter decisions on when to attack the paint, and the team is generally playing better with him in the game as the backup PG. Darius noted that after the Utah game a week ago:

He’s moving the ball well. He’s attacking the paint and not settling for too many jumpers. He’s creating for himself and his teammates all while playing to his strengths. And, most importantly, he’s playing better defense. Deron Williams has always been a real problem for Jordan. And based off that history, you saw Phil go to WOW as the PG to match up with Deron in the middle part of the game. But, in the 4th quarter when we went on that run, Phil went to Jordan and he delivered. Soon enough, it was Farmar pestering Williams – using his speed and athleticism to cut off driving angles and challenge shots. Jordan played inspired ball last night and he deserves a load of credit for his contributions to this win.

Does this mean Farmar has turned a corner with the offense and the Lakers? We’re a ways from me totally buying in to that, Farmar himself has talked about the Lakers triangle offense is “not in his wheelhouse.” He still over-dribbles at times and breaks out of the offensive sets more than I’d like. He was one of the guys who was not spectacular against the Pistons, going 1-6 from the floor, but he was a +4 on the night. But Brown seemed to struggle with his whole game, 1-9 from the floor and just looking out of synch, especially in the fourth quarter, and he finished -13. One game is a small sample size, but that seems to be a trend.

The fact is, Derek Fisher remains the Lakers starter because nobody has stepped up and taken the job away from the old man. Farmar has not, but Brown is farther behind (and getting more time at the two now because he flows better in that role). It’s also something to consider for those people looking to ship Farmar out at the trading deadline as part of a package deal – nobody on this team is showing they can replace him right now.

And he seems to be getting better as the season goes on.

Kurt

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54 responses to Jordan Farmar Is Earning The Backup PG Spot

  1. The most annoying thing about Farmar is that he doesn’t make routine plays very well. He does a lot of spectacular things on the court, such as highlight reel type blocks and end of the quarter shots. However, he sometimes struggles with basic things like entry passes to the post, running the 3 on 2 fast breaks, and even sticking to his own man.

    As a back up PG, I think PJ is looking for more solid/stable game rather than flashy plays from Farmar. However, he wants to do a bit more than he needs to. That’s where he can learn from Fisher, though the last thing we want Jordan to do is more PUJITs. Still, I’d rather see Farmar do PUJITs than behind the back passes or fadeaway jumpers.

    However, the best quality about Farmar is his confidence. I like how he plays with a chip on his shoulder. He doesn’t back down to anyone, and if he can just try to NOT prove to everyone that he belongs in the starting lineup, then he has enough skills and athleticism to claim more minutes as season goes along.

    With Fisher, we know what we’ll be getting, clutch shooting and stability. With Jordan, we can get speed explosivenss which Fisher never had. I just hope he continues to improve enough that we’ll have to keep him.

  2. Jordan definitely has the skills and athleticism to be a good PG in this league. His head just isnt always there.

    I hope this isnt happenin cuz its a contract year… Dont wanna be stuck with another contract like Sasha’s

  3. Kurt,

    As things stand right now, with the Lakers NBA leading W/L record–one short of perfect since the return of Pau Gasol–the Lakers are unlikely to mess with players in the current starting rotation. To me, that means Jordy and WOW are both secure for this season, without either nailing down the starting PG position.

    I agree that Jordy is playing his best PG ball as a Laker now, but I don’t agree that he is any closer to the starting PG position.

    That’s because Derek Fisher has shown even more improvement. Although Jordy was +4 to Shannon’s -13 in this Detroit game, Derek was +14.

    Other than Kobe, Derek has made the most clutch baskets–and takes a charge on breakaways about as effectively as anyone in the NBA (though Farmer’s defense against breakaways is at least as remarkable overall). The funneling of PG’s has been more effective with two 7 footers in the background and Ron Artest nearby.

    So far, even though Jordan has clearly raised the ante, Derek has more than answered the challenge.

  4. Completely unrelated matter, Pau in an interview for Eurosport, has declared that most likely, him playing this summer for Spain in Turkey ain’t going to happen.

    He claims that he’s been playing since 2005 every summer, and there must be a moment to stop doing so, and take care of his body. And this summer looks like the perfect one to give it a rest.

  5. # 1 and 2 pretty much sums up my feelings about jordan’s situation. that his remarks lately haven’t been encouraging is more reason for me to be on the wait and see camp. i think a more reliable player with a measured and proven impact day in and out, be it him, wow or another, is needed.

    Go Lakers!

  6. Let’s try playing Gasol at point guard. He’s got better handles than Kobe, shoots better than Sasha in practice.

    For those of you who haven’t yet, don’t try chewing tobacco.

  7. Farmar is playing better than he has in the past, but it is a contract year, we know what happens in those years for players. I am still for the experiment of starting Sasha at PG (at least a few games), and just see what happens with him and the starters. I do not think this will happen for some strange reason, does Phil Jackson read this blog at all? Certainly Jordan Farmer with the way he is currently playing (knock on wood) is a decent backup for Fisher, but I would agree that Fisher has improved his play this year also very much.

  8. I like the way Jordan is playing but I hope this doesn’t fool the Lakers into giving him a lucrative long term deal. I could definitely see him regressing and start pouting again if he gets paid.

    OT: Kamentzky brothers left the LA Times Lakers blog today and it makes me one sad panda =[

    Looks like they’ve got a new one going at ESPN LA though.

  9. Yes! Start Sasha! Start Sasha!

    I’d say Farmar has been ok over the past few weeks, as opposed to horrible over the past few months ending last season. Given that he played so badly during the latter half of last season, it’s like a ray of sunshine to see him play at least half-way decently for a stretch of games.

    That being said, it’s going to be really really tough bringing back Jordan. We all know he’s in a contract year, and he currently makes about $2 mil, with his qualifying offer for next year around $2.9 mil. He’s not coming back for the minimum; he’s too young, too proud, and he’s probably worth more than that on the open market.

    I would say that Shannon Brown’s contract would be a good minimum level for Farmar; that will be the smallest possible contract he will accept/get; $4 mil over two years with a player option for the 2nd year. However, I doubt that Farmar will come back for anything less than the qualifying offer of $2.9 mil. For the Lakers, that’s just too much for an inconsistent backup PG. And if teams offer anything more, well there’s no way the Lakers will do that; not with $83 mil in committed salary already for next year. And even if the Lakers offer the same contract as another team, I’m not so sure Jordan will choose the Lakers. As Kurt quoted, Jordan doesn’t really enjoy the triangle, so I think Jordan would jump at a chance to switch teams.

  10. Let him go then. Lets tank the season and get John Wall!

    Seriously though, letting Farmar go and getting nothing in return just isn’t happening. We need 2 reliable backups, Fisher might be playing well, but the dude is getting old.

  11. WORD OF WARNING: This site will be down for a couple hours tonight between 10 pm and midnight Pacific. There have been issues with this server again (at least it didn’t crash during a game this time) so the host is running some maintenance.

  12. “…letting Farmar go and getting nothing in return just isn’t happening.”

    I really don’t get this statement. Often teams are better served to let the $ come off the books, than to trade for longer contracts. In the Lakers payroll situation, that is exactly the position they are in.

  13. Playing your best ball in your contract season is always worrisome. It’s happened so many times in this league and it never seems to sustain itself. And though I’ve been fooled by it before (see, Machine, The), I’m learning my lesson and am more weary of it now than ever before. But, believe me, I’m happy that he’s playing well as it improves our team. Even if it only lasts for this season, now is the time that we need it, so great for us. I mean, the future is the future, but today is when we need a capable player to split minutes with Fisher and if Farmar can do it (or continue to do it) then I’m going to be happy with those results in the same way that I was happy when Sasha was nailing crunch time jumpers on our way to a Finals birth two seasons ago. The key is to re-evaluate where we stand after the season and do what’s best for the team. But, I’ll worry about that after the season. I haven’t completely given up on our in-house solutions to PG (WOW or even Zephid’s new favorite option) and we’ll see where we stand in late June after (hopefully) hoisting up another Larry O’Brien Trophy.

  14. Sasha, save for one game, also shot us out of the Finals. I’m still bitter that he turned that into 15 million dollars and when Ariza shoots us to a Finals win we let him go (not that I don’t love what Artest has brought so far this season).

    But maybe Sasha’s contract was a bit of forward planning by the Lakers. He’s got another contract year next season, just in time to help us cap off our threepeat =]

  15. Not only has he earned the backup job, but the starting job as well. Farmar has been by far our best point guard statistically this year. Brown is a fun player to watch, but has been lousy to terrible this year. Fisher only looks good because he plays with the starters so much more than Farmar. When Farmar gets to play with starters he has been vastly better. The Lakers are literally twice as good when Farmar plays with the starters instead of Fisher.

    Here is a quick comparison of their adj +/-, which is the best single stat to measure a player.

    Farmar- 1.5
    Fisher- neg12.0
    Brown- neg 21.3

    Since some people might think that is too abstract, here are their points per 36 minutes in our most common lineups-

    With Bryant, Artest, Gasol-
    Fisher- 15.4
    Farmar- 39.6

    With Bryant, Artest, Odom-
    Fisher- 10.5
    Farmar- 29.8

    With Bryant, Artest, Bynum-
    Fisher- 10.7
    Farmar- 25.5

    If the Lakers want to win the most they should start Farmar and play Brown as a backup shooting guard, not at point. We definitely need to bring in another guard this summer, but for now we might as well go with by far our best option.

    If anyone wants to verify these stats you can find them at NBA.com, and Basketballvalue.com.

  16. Two reasons why I’m not sold on Farmar at the moment: (1) he started on fire last year only to finish in a sizzle; and (2) he’s on a contract year.

    Even if he keeps playing like he is right now, I’d be hardpressed not to think that if he gets a long contract, he will mail-in the season like he did last year.

  17. Adjusted +/- has some value but there is way, way too much noise for it to be anywhere near the “best” single tool for evaluating players and I’m not convinced it actually adjusts for everything. Unless you think Odom has been the Lakers best player over the last 2 years.

  18. Off topic but a fun little read and photo gallery on the 50 greatest Lakers of all time. Has a nice tribute to Chick at the end, giving him the “and 1″ ranking after the naming #1 player.

    http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/gallery/?id=4752944

  19. By the way, Carl Landry is going to be back on the court tomorrow. He now is the only guy in the league (off the top of my head) who can challenge Kobe for toughest player.

  20. @Craig W.

    I really don’t think that is what the Lakers will do. I see them packaging Farmar with Morrison for cap relief and a high draft pick or a reliable PG/Combo guard vet available.

    I may be dreaming, since I dont see any team picking up Morrison.

  21. What Phil is looking for at PG is stability, not sizzle. Farmar is still too volatile. Phil needs to be able to count on consistent production and management game-in and game-out. While Fish has not been great, Farmar needs to prove he can consistently run the team well.

  22. I agree Craig.

    But we also need to take into consideration the possibility of Phil quitting soon. This means no more triangle. If we keep up a fast paced game, Farmar will flourish, as will Brown.

    But that is all speculation. As of now, cap relief in a deal involving Farmar and Morrison would be nice, although nearly impossible.
    I’ve said this before around here, but I’d like to see Chalmers on this team, developing, and its not a tough deal.

  23. Barring a physical breakdown, Phil will not leave the Lakers without another shot at a three-peat. With 4 three-peats under his belt he would be like Wilt’s 100 pts – simply untouchable.

  24. Simonoid, you reminded me of my first time having a chew, we were teenagers, working concrete, building basements in the midwest when one of our co-workers offered us a chew. being manly men, we of course had to give it a try. after about 20 minutes, my mate, who was looking pretty green, asked me to take him home. I had to laugh, he got sick! but within minutes I had a severe case of hickups and almost turned green myself, so I second your words of wisdom, don’t chew tobacco!
    wrt to Farmar, I think we should stay with him, this season and beyond if he’s in our financial range, he has experience with the system, the players, coaches, is fast enough to stay in against the quicker PG’s in the league, Shannon can cover the Deron’s and CP3’s.
    and I also agree that while Fish is slowing a bit, let’s not forget what a smart fellow he is, obviously he’s in great physical shape, takes the game very seriously, and I don’t think he’s going to drop off as fast as most expect, he’ll be around a while still, (poor Aaron…;)

  25. I think Farmer is probably our most valuable tradeable piece. I think if there’s 1 thing this team is missing is that we are lacking that 3-point specialist that can really spread the floor. if you look at other teams like the Cavs (Mo Williams), Celtics (Ray Allen), and the Magic (Pick one), what makes them tough is that you have to honor these shooters which spreads the floor.

    [Edited for trade speculation. General note: For this column you can say you think Farmar should be traded, but we are not going to get into specific deals. If you want to post on that, the trade post is just a few down the page.]

  26. Obviously Adj +/- has problems with noise, along with every other stat ever. But these differences are absolutely massive. Ignore adj +/- if you want. But the points scored by lineup is impossible to ignore.

    There is simply no way you can say Farmar hasn’t been better than Fisher and Brown without completely ignoring any and all stats.

    For those who say Farmar isn’t consistent enough, he has zero starts. Why not let him start and see what happens? At the very least he has consistently proven to be vastly better than Fisher this year in the minutes he has played.

  27. Craig W. If the Lakers get another 3 peat not only would Phil have 4 3-peats he would have done it with essentially 3 different teams (this would be a completely different Lakers team than the earlier shaq-kobe 3-peat). That would be pretty damn impressive.

  28. Good article on the Laker’s defense and offense this year:

    http://www.basketballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=831

    One thing not touched on there that I wonder about is the chemistry between Pau and Bynum. Pau has complained about his lack of shots, and we’re already aware of Bynum’s longing for shots. What we haven’t seen develop is the 2 man post game that we saw between Pau and Odom in years past develop for Pau and Bynum. It seems like either gets the ball and does their thing. They don’t look to support each other as much. And when Odom comes in, we know he’s been in an enigmatic mode. Maybe he doesn’t want to shoot as much because he knows the big guy he’s paired with wants their shots? I dunno. But the teamwork between our bigs is much of what made this team so pretty on offense in years past.

    Also- Pau hasn’t shown as much success on his little 12-15 foot jump shot this year. He hasn’t been taking it much either.

    Anyways, no panic here, just something I wish would develop.

  29. Neither Pau nor Bynum seem to move much when they play together and the other gets the ball. Pau because he knows he just needs to get into position to rebouns, ’cause Bynum is most likely just going to shoot anyway. In Bynum’s case, I just don’t know. He seems to lack energy for some things, like the awful rebounding.

  30. OT/There’s a nice little series of interviews on the subject of Kobe’s evolution on espnlosangeles.com.

    very informative and appreciative of kobe’s determination.

  31. 25, we had that guy– he went snowboarding…

  32. 29, I have yet to see Pau properly space the floor when Bynum is on the block. I assume he’s supposed to be at the 18-20 ft mark, baseline.

  33. I think it would be worth taking a chance keeping Farmar; I think that salaries will likely be depressed this offseason, and I don’t think he has shown that much that other teams would be willing to give him a big contract.

  34. As Lakers fans we have high expectations; we’ve been spoiled by success, and if we’re honest with ourselves I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest that we hold our team’s players to very lofty standards. This is a championship-caliber team, and we demand championship-caliber play.

    Sometimes, however, that mindset can cloud our views when it comes to younger players, at least in my opinion of Laker fans in general (myself included).

    I realize others may not share my outlook, but I think Kurt’s post on Jordan Farmar was dead-on. He’s been very solid this season, and I’m among those who believe Jordan will be a very good NBA point guard – meaning a starter who thrives – even if it’s for another franchise sometime in the near future.

    We’ve seen guys like Chris Paul or Brandon Jennings come in and set the league on fire right away. But guys like those are the exception, not the rule.

    Let’s compare Farmar’s numbers to those of Steve Nash early on their careers (and keep in mind that Farmar had only two seasons at UCLA, whereas Nash played four years at Santa Clara).

    Farmar’s first three seasons:

    Year 1: 72 games, averaged 4.4 ppg, 1.9 assists and 1.01 turnovers.
    Year 2: 82 games, averaged 9.1 ppg, 2.7 assists and 1.32 turnovers.
    Year 3: 65 games, averaged 6.4 ppg, 2.4 assists and 1.34 turnovers.

    Nash’s first three seasons:

    Year 1: 65 games, averaged 3.3 ppg, 2.1 assists and 0.97 turnovers.
    Year 2: 76 games, averaged 9.1 ppg, 3.4 assists and 1.29 turnovers.
    Year 3: 40 games, averaged 7.9 ppg, 5.5 assists and 2.08 turnovers.

    It really wasn’t until 2000-01 – his fifth year in the NBA and third season as a Maverick, following a great experience as an Olympian for Canada at the 2000 Sydney Games – that fans began to see the Steve Nash we think of today, the All-Star and one-time MVP winner (I refuse to acknowledge the MVP trophy he was given in 2005-06, which clearly should have been handed to Kobe… but I digress.)

    And Farmar posted comparable numbers under the pressures of a Finals-level team, not a bottom feeder like Dallas in the early part of this decade.

    I’m not in any way suggesting Farmar is the second coming of Nash. But I am saying that sometimes it takes time, and the right situation, for a young PG to fully blossom. Farmar’s been placed in a system that isn’t ideal for his game; he’s a pro and it’s on him to adjust, or find another place to showcase his skills. Regardless, the struggles we’ve seen him endure likely mask the talent that’s really there beneath the surface.

    We also can’t forget that he suffered a knee injury last season and missed a stretch of games early in the schedule, and even when he came back he was never physically correct. Anyone who questions that need only recall the multiple times last season when the Lakers ran their usual back-cut alley-oop for Farmar, only to see him fail to get to the rim as he had regularly done before the injury.

    This year he’s healthy, he’s contributing, and as others have noted, there really is no clear heir apparent to back-up Fish should Farmar be dealt.

    My guess is he’s a Laker through the end of the season, and after that he’ll find a better fit (moneywise and systemwise) elsewhere. But I really believe there will come a time when Lakers fans view him much more favorably than we do today. Time will tell, as always.

  35. j.d. (28),

    i completely agree. i have not seen the two man game between bynum and gasol like we have with odom and gasol, which is one reason that the triangle (when executed by the Lakers) is so beautiful to watch. if we start seeing that, i think we will start to see them both maximize their games when they play with each other (a question Darius brought up in “So You Think the Lakers Are Going to Make a Trade?”). last year, i think we saw a little bit of a two man game between those two; when one got doubled, they passed to the other (often over the top – the advantage of two seven footers) for a dunk or similar shot. one of the best examples of this was the first basket in the game 1 or 2 of the 2009 nba finals. when dwight came to help on pau on the left side of the basket, pau dished it to bynum for a dunk. we’ve all harped on bynum as TBH (which is both good and bad), but i think we should focus on him passing to pau (and vice versa – haven’t seen too much of Pau passing to Drew in the post) more also, not just the dish out to the wing.

  36. On the new ESPNLosAngeles.com,
    Derek Fisher is chatting at 1pm, Jeanie Buss at 2pm and Jordan Farmar at 3:30 pm today and Phil Jackson is scheduled to chat at 12pm tomorrow. all times are PST

    http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/chat/_/id/30040/lakers-derek-fisher

    The Derek Fisher chat has not started yet

  37. Farmar has the talent to play in this league, I don’t think most people are saying he belongs in the D-League or Europe. The question is, with our ridiculously high payroll, if his value to our system is worth a tax hit.

    Farmar is the type of player you have to keep on 1 or 2-year contracts (not that he’d take that). After Sasha, I vote no long-term contracts unless a player has truly proven themselves. That said, I definitely agree that we should acknowledge his play this year, and I hope it helps us repeat.

  38. Nice try chris, but Jordan will never ever be Steve Nash. He can’t even beat out D Fish at this point. Jeez

  39. This entire discussion appears to be predicated on the idea that Jordan’s last 5 games are the “real” Farmar, rather than the first 20 (or the 82 last year).

    I have seen nothing from Farmar that would cause me to re-sign him. He is a terrible fit for the triangle offense, and he has an attitude problem. He is the #1 PG off the bench, on a team whose bench gets thoroughly outplayed almost every night. Doesn’t any of that responsibility fall on his shoulders?

    As for him earning the #1 backup minutes, I think it is more a case of Shannon taking minutes from Sasha as the Lakers best SG off the bench that has more to do with Farmar getting the lion’s share of PG bench minutes. If the Lakers had a better SG off the bench, I think you’d see more of Brown at the point, and less of Jordan….

  40. I remember Steve Nash’s first few years and most people looked at him as a marginal PG who would have trouble getting off the end of the bench – no defense, short, white, etc.

    Sorry, but that is what was being said in 1999.

    PG and Centers have to develop in this league and get in a system that fits their talents – look at Chauncey Billips. We all do ourselves a disservice by immediately pigeon-holing players in their rookie year. That’s where great GMs earn their bones.

  41. 38 – I think all Chris was trying to say is that it sometimes takes years for PGs to flourish, not that Farmar is even close to Nash. Farmar definitely can be a serviceable player in the right system, just not ours.

    28 – That article is a must-read. Good stuff from Pelton.

    As far as I know, though, I think Pau was calling for more touches, not shots. It’s an important difference, and it reflects the difference between Pau and Bynum. I’m still confused as to why Drew seems to be the #1 post option, whereas Pau’s TS% is sky-high and he makes the game easier for others.

    35 – The Pau-Lamar 2-man game will always be better than the Pau-Drew game, though, because Lamar is a cutter and Drew is not. But I agree, Pau/Drew can still be effective in the high/low post and we haven’t seen a ton of that. Part of the reason, IMHO, is that our best passer isn’t getting enough touches.

    Drew is a budding franchise player, no doubt. But, as Kobe said, Pau is (arguably) the best post player in the game. It kills me that we don’t take full advantage of that.

  42. 35- In his chat today fisher noted that chemistry is developed on the road. At home you have other respnsibilities, but on the road players hang out together and develop more of a bond.

    So maybe as the team evens out their home-road record they will develop better chemistry and play more unified on the offensive end.

  43. New post up, talking the Basketball Prospectus post, Phil Jackson and a Matt Kemp video.

  44. 41, you forgot to mention that Pau/Odom is better than Bynum/Odom because Odom is a cutter, and Bynum doesn’t pass to cutters.

  45. sbdunks, correction made, thank you.

  46. Yung Jordan has had three years to show some kind of an improvement in his play. There is not one thing I can say about his game that has showed any type of understanding of the situation that he is currently in. A few games here and there he shows us LA fans a flash of what Jordy could be if he really wants to play, but its to many times that he resorts back to his old self. I posted before that the only thing that will change his frame of mind is being on a team that loses on a consistent basis and then he will realize what is going on. For him to get drafted and play for a team that consistently wins, he never got a taste of what it feels like to lose. Players such as Ron Ron, Gasol, ShanWoW got that feeling of not winning and now that hunger that you see night in and night out is reflected in their play. Since they have seen the other side, it is more of an appreciate to do what the team needs them to do and win than to be doing their own thing and losing. I hope I am so wrong about Farmar, but three years I think has proved me right .

  47. Lou –

    Snoopy’s 100 percent correct; I wasn’t saying Farmar will be Nash.

    In fact, re-read my post . That line that reads, “I’m not in any way suggesting Farmar is the second coming of Nash” was pretty clear, I thought.

  48. 44,

    Ouch, but true. Haha

  49. @Dave. I went to Basketball Value.com to check the statistics. When I see the lineup 1 Year Adj. +/- it seems that Farmar, Odom, Artest, Kobe and Pau has a 44.84. But that unit has only played together for 24.53 Minutes.

    The same lineup with Fisher only has a rating of 3.16, but they played 228.90 minutes.

    I don’t put too much stock into that type of nitpicking analysis because there will always be reasons for such a high number.

    Fisher’s Overall Rating when he is on the court is 13.87 and Farmars is 6.54.

    I think the stats are out there to make any type of argument, but I am pretty sure Phil Jackson knows what he’s doing. I say we keep Farmar on the bench and he can be the #2 guy we bring off the bench.

    Also, based on his espn chat today, Farmar is a traditional point guard and wants the ball in his hands to make the decisions. Nothing wrong with that and he shouldn’t get rid of that mentality, but it doesn’t work in this offense, and really can’t work with an offense featuring Kobe.

    I’m sure the statistics mean something, but I feel that they just help players agents make a little bit more money at the end of the year.

    But if you want to look at the stats and look at the top players: Lamar Odom has a 12.50 and Kobe has a 7.58. By your logic, we should start Odom and have Kobe come off the bench.

  50. I think Farmar is having a better season than last season but not as good as the year we went to the final with Boston. Farmar fits into the triangle like I fit into a Celtics/Red Sox bar in Boston–something just ain’t right. To me Brown has shown major improvement because he is getting the opportunity to play. Given time and experience Brown is going to shock alot of people. He combines strength, speed, and enormous athletic ability–almost like a combintion of Fish’s defense and Farmar’s speed. Not to mention that this kid can get a crowd all riled up or quiet them down. You need a guy like that.

    PS–Formulas don’t show you the intangibles such hustle, heart, defense and willingness to learn. Let the kid play more Phil.

  51. dirtysanchez–your 100% right and very well put on post #46. He, like Ariza is finding out now, doesn’t know how good he really has it in LA. Odom should sit them all down and tell all these guys about his days with the Clippers–now thats a scary story.

  52. @Ray.

    It isn’t just that lineup that Farmar is way better than Fisher in. Farmar has been better in just about every lineup that includes a few of the starters. That is why he has a much higher adjusted rating.

    Overall rating is not accurate because it doesnt adjust for Fisher only playing with the starters, while Farmar has to play with the terrible bench a lot.

    But it has worked this year. The Lakers have been unbelievably good when Farmar plays with Kobe and the other starters(albeit in limited time).

    Your Odom and Kobe comparison is weird. First of all they play different positions. Kobe has a 16.66 rating this year, while Odom a 5.13 rating. I would be all for starting Odom over Bynum though, since Bynum’s rating is negative 6.6.

    Also, don’t forget that the Lakers can’t keep starting Fisher for long. Already he is one of the least productive point guards in the league. We should at least give Farmar some starts to see if he is worth resigning and making the starter in the future.

  53. @dave,

    I think Farmar has been playing well this season, I just don’t agree he should start. I trust that Phil Jackson has reasons for starting Fish and having Fish in crunch time minutes.

    My argument was that statistics can be looked at in different ways and be used to support different arguments, so you cannot have a starting argument just by looking at numbers. I’ve watched a majority of games and I do not see that Farmar is responsible for that increase in productivity as the numbers suggest. There is only one game I can remember where Farmar stood out, and that was his defense on D. Williams during that 6 point Fourth Quarter.

    Also, basketballvalue.com has so many different statistics that I found completely different numbers than you did. And I found numbers to make my argument to show that you can do that with statistics. But I haven’t seen Farmar out play Fisher this season.

    Fish has the luxury of being the least productive point guard in the league. He plays alongside Kobe, Lamar, Artest, Pau, and Bynum in an offense that doesn’t rely on a pick and roll or normal motion offense where he can rack up assists. Of course he is going to be pretty low producing. He doesn’t need to shoot, doesn’t need to get the statistics. I think Farmar still wants the points, where Fisher wants to run the O, play physical Defense, get some charges, and hit open shots. I’m just saying that Phil Jackson should be given the benefit of the doubt when he makes these starting lineups. I’d rely on him rather than the guys at Basketballvalue.com.

    Finally, I think Farmar should be re-signed. IF we had the money. But unfortunately, that cash goes to Sasha and we can’t take that money back nor can we find a trade partner for (unless memphis does us another favor). And, the way Farmar wants to play is traditional point guard, and I think he’d be really good on another team while getting paid.

    “Statistics are used by fans in much the same way that a drunk leans against a street lamp; it’s there more for support than enlightenment.” – Vin Scully

    P.S. Lamar and Bynum play different positions too.

  54. I’m pulling for Shannon to take over the PG spot. I’ve followed him since his two years at Michigan St. I don’t believe he will take it this year. I don’t think Farmar will either. Shannon played small forward in college so he’s far behind Farmar as far as PG skills/instincts go. I think he closes this gap with his size, athletisism and unselfishness. Shannon plays in the offense so much better. I was hoping he had spent this last offseason in the gym with Brian Shaw developing PG skills but that doesn’t look to be the case. If Farmar is publically saying he doesn’t buy into the triangle, an offense that has won Phil 10 rings, the Lakers should look for someone else to relieve D-Fish of his duties.