Archive for the 'Jordan Farmar' Category

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Jordan Farmar Live Chat Replay

60055810After Tuesday’s practice, Jordan Farmar joined us for a live chat on Lakers.com.

L.A.’s reserve point guard discussed team issues (such as the prevailing overall confidence), individual topics (like his tattoos and his engagement) and much more (like the team’s trip to the White House).

To read through the whole chat, you can CLICK HERE.

TUESDAY’S PRACTICE REPORT
The Lakers looked fantastic in beating Utah 106-92 on Friday, and not so good while losing 100-82 to San Antonio on Sunday, which naturally produced a series of questions and answers from Tuesday afternoon’s practice regarding what needs to improve heading into the playoffs.

You can also go through the practice report – which includes video from Phil Jackson, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Derek Fisher - by clicking here.

Jordan Farmar: Half-Court Maestro


If you had to guess which Laker wins something like 80 percent of half-court shooting contests between various players and (almost always) assistant coach Brian Shaw, whom would you pick?

Kobe Bryant (good at everything)? Sasha Vujacic (never stops shooting)? Derek Fisher (experience, good touch)?

Wrong, wrong and wrong.

The answer is Jordan Farmar.

It’s gotten to the point that regular competitors Adam Morrison, Luke Walton, Vujacic and Shaw almost expect Farmar to win, and in Oklahoma City, we caught the point guard’s latest victory on camera.

Backup Guards Chip In As L.A. Beats Philly

blog_100226brownfarmarWednesday in Dallas was not a good night for Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown.

Playing 28 total minutes off the bench between them in L.A.’s 101-96 loss to the Mavericks, the two guards combined for just nine points, two assists and two rebounds. Defensively, Brown had two steals and Farmar one, but they together drew the ire of Phil Jackson after ceding a buzzer-beating three-pointer to Jason Kidd at the close of the third quarter, giving Dallas a lead it would not give up.

That’s not ideal, to say the least, for two ultra-competitive guards that have collectively spent a large chunk of individual time honing their games not just in the offseason, but as the season’s gone on. Of course, winning remains the bottom line for both, and an unproductive game is easily shaken off when there’s a “W” after it.

Fortunately, the NBA season offers a new opportunity every a day or two, and the first chance to get Wednesday’s sour milk out of Brown and Farmar’s respective mouths came on Friday night at STAPLES Center against Philadelphia.

Take a look at the postgame box score from L.A.’s 99-90 victory, but don’t expect Farmar’s and Brown’s contributions to pop off the page.

Farmar: 19 minutes, 10 points on 3-of-7 shooting including 2-of-4 from three and 2-of-2 free throws, 1 block, 0 rebounds, 0 assists
Brown: 17 minutes, 5 points on 2-of-7 shooting including 1-of-3 from three, 1 assist, 1 rebound

But look a little closer: 10 points off the bench from Farmar and a defensive spark from Brown that woke up a somewhat dreary Lakers team were more than enough to help the Lakers win a game.

59491043Among Farmar’s points was a third-quarter-ending 3-pointer that put L.A. up five instead of two heading into the fourth, and his 17-foot jumper with 6:52 to play in the game gave the Lakers their biggest lead to that point (85-78). Brown’s defensive focus helped slow Philly point guards Louis Williams (nine points after the first quarter) and Jrue Holiday (eight total points), which is generally what L.A.’s coaching staff is looking for from both Lakers’ backups.

“We want them to bring some energy, especially on the defensive end,” said assistant coach Brian Shaw. “When they come in the game, maybe get a couple of steals, get out in the break, do something exciting and get everybody going.”

That’s good with Brown.

“Defense is always my main focus,” he said. “That doesn’t change from game to game. When I come in the game, it’s defense.”

Because Farmar and Brown play for the league’s most talented team – where Lamar Odom comes off the bench, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol are capable of nightly double-doubles and Kobe Bryant is Kobe Bryant – they often don’t need to do much more.

“We really just try to play with a lot of energy,” said Farmar of what was left. “Stay aggressive but at the same time, don’t go out there and do too much.”

Not that they don’t want to do more, or that they can’t.

Farmar’s single game highs this season (24 points, eight assists, five rebounds, three steals and 27 minutes) and Brown’s (27 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, three steals and 39 minutes) show as much. So did key playoff contributions last season, such as Farmar’s big Game 3 in Houston or Brown’s key third quarter stretch in Game 5 against Denver.

59745757It’s just that on some nights, there might not be as much of an opportunity. For example, Farmar has played more than 25 minutes just once. And on a night such as Friday, there was this: Bynum put up 20 points and 13 rebounds, Gasol 23 points and 11 rebounds double-doubles, Bryant finished with a team-high eight assists in addition to his 19 points and two steals and Odom added 11 points, nine boards and three blocks.

There goes the steak, the potatoes, the broccoli and the rolls off the plate, leaving just the sauce and some butter.

“I think we did in the second half a little bit, got some stops, a shot clock violation, some three-pointers,” said Farmar. “We were able to establish the motivation in our favor.”

True enough. Then with 6:01 to play in the fourth, veterans Derek Fisher and Ron Artest returned to close out the game.

What Farmar and Brown were able to add to the effort against Philadelphia certainly surpassed what they put up against Dallas, but it wasn’t the increase in production – however insignificant in the box score it may have looked – so much as the result that mattered on Friday, and that always matters.

“It’s all about winning a championship,” said Brown. “That’s the big picture. We’re just trying to help the team win.”

That, they did.

POSTGAME NUMBERS
6 Big time celebs shown on the jumbotron late in the fourth quarter: Will Ferrell, Alyssa Milano, Ron Howard, Anthony Kiedis, John C. Reilly & Denzel Washington. Unfortunately, Jack Nicholson had already bounced from his usual seat.

8 Assists for Kobe Bryant, three below his season high, to lead the Lakers. Andre Iguodala had 10 for Philly.

32 Combined rebounds for Andrew Bynum (13), Pau Gasol (11) and Lamar Odom (9) to help L.A. edge Philly 47-43 on the backboards.

24 Points for Samuel Dalembert of the Sixers, his career high. More importantly, Dalembert was recognized on Friday morning by the NBA for his hugely important charitable efforts in his native Haiti, as he received the NBA Cares “Community Assist Award” for January.

64 Points in the paint for the Lakers, thanks primarily to the Gasol – Bynum duo that combined for 43 points.

Lakers Attend Rookie/Sophmore Game

blog_as10rookiegame_500While the Lakers didn’t have anyone participating in this year’s Rookie/Sophmore Challenge that didn’t stop three Lakers from attending for various reasons.

Guard Jordan Farmar, in town as the team’s players association representative, sat courtside next to the the Clippers’ Chris Kaman while watching fellow UCLA Bruins Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook.

At halftime the NBA held their first ever Dunk-In contest between DeMar DeRozan and Eric Gordon with the winner gaining entrance into Saturday night’s main event. Shannon Brown is quickly becoming the people’s favorite to take the Slam Dunk crown but that didn’t stop him from doing a little scouting Saturday.

For Pau Gasol it was a family affair as for the second year in a row his brother Marc was involved in the game.

Farmar Bombs Away Against Jazz

59541458Prior to L.A.’s Wednesday evening tip off in Utah, Lakers guard Jordan Farmar had his three-point stroke rolling in pregame warmups.

Teamed with Adam Morrison, Farmar nailed triple after triple to beat assistant coach Brian Shaw and Sasha Vujacic six consecutive times in a two-on-two shooting drill that takes place before every game.

As it turned out, that stroke carried right into the actual game: Farmar hit 4-of-4 from distance, crucial shots as the rest of the Lakers were only 1-of-9 from three-point range.

“My stroke felt great before the game, but more than anything I’ve been trying to get to the basket,” said Farmar, who scored 18 points off the bench, including some finishes at the rim. “But Sasha hit me with a nice pass at the end of the first quarter, and when that one went in, I knew I was going to continue to feel that stroke.”

Farmar went on to swish three more three-pointers, two off screen and rolls between his teammates, with the final triple – which came from 25 feet with 6:50 left in the fourth quarter – serving as an early dagger, quickly turning Utah’s ‘can we still do this?’ 12-point deficit into a slammed door 15-point mountain.

With Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum out of the game, Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol were massive for the Lakers as well, combining for 47 points, 30 rebounds, five assists, four steals and seven blocks. Paired with Farmar, the three were a modicum of efficiency, making 24-of-35 shots (69 percent). But as Farmar explained, the Lakers got something from everybody else as well in the 96-81 victory.

“Nobody wants Andrew or Kobe to be hurt, but it does give guys more opportunities to go out there and do what they can do,” said Farmar. “Most touches run through Kobe, and after Pau (Gasol), Andrew probably gets the next most opportunities. So the touches had to disperse somewhere, and that’s going to start with Pau, Lamar and Ron (Artest).

“But you saw Sasha making big plays, Shannon (Brown) doing his thing, myself being able to be aggressive. It just helps everyone play more in rhythm, and that’s what we had to do with (Bryant and Bynum) out.”

Even when Bryant and Bynum both likely return after the All-Star break, the Lakers can use a back up point guard who’s made nearly 42 percent of his three-pointers in January and February combined.

Lakers Excited to Meet President Obama

Before the results to the 2008 Presidential election became official on Nov. 4 of that year, many of the Lakers players were almost as plugged into the outcome as they were the team scouting reports heading into NBA Finals seven months later.

Then-U.S. Senator Barack Obama won in November, and the Lakers followed suit by defeating Orlando in Game 5 in June to secure not just the NBA title, but a trip to the White House to meet the President seven months later a day before L.A.’s Tuesday night game against Washington.

Among Obama’s numerous supporters within the NBA community is Derek Fisher, who relayed his and his team’s sentiments about Monday’s meet and greet prior to L.A.’s Sunday evening game in Toronto.

“We’re all excited about it,” said Fisher. “It’s one of those rare times in an individual lifetime where there is an election or an event that changes the course of the next 30, 40, 50 years.

“A lot of people, including us, feel like President Obama’s election was one of those moments. So to be the first team that gets to actually go and meet him, see the White House and be apart of the entire event is pretty cool.”

Fisher’s backup, Jordan Farmar, expressed similar feelings.

“I’m really excited,” he noted. “I’ve never been to the White House, and being a guest there will be special.“

Farmar actually had a chance to introduce President Obama before a speech in Newport Beach in the summer of 2008, and said he jumped at the opportunity after his agent set up the details.

“It was really special, and President Obama was really cool,” said Farmar, who spoke to Obama for about 15 minutes before the speech. “We talked basketball right away; we had just lost to Boston in the Finals then, but we’ll have something better to talk about this time.”

Yet in his haste to pack for L.A.’s eight-game road trip (three down, five to go), Farmar forgot to pack a suit to wear to the ceremony.

“I had to go get one made (Sunday in Toronto),” he said. “You can’t just go to the White House in jeans and a t-shirt.”

Fortunately, Farmar’s suit was delivered during the game in Toronto; he certainly couldn’t afford to be less than sharp as the first team in what is a predominantly African American professional league met the country’s first African American President.

“A lot of us never thought we would see this day,” said Farmar, who like Obama comes from a bi-racial background. “I feel very special to be apart of it and to have the chance to share this with my teammates – we all get along and really care about each other, so it’s really meaningful.”

One of those teammates, Lamar Odom, responded immediately to a locker room question about his favorite president.

“President Obama, in a land slide,” he said before offering some perspective. “My grandmother was born in Georgia in 1923 … A lot of people coming up didn’t have hope … I’m looking forward to going tomorrow and meeting him face-to-face.”

While Odom joked that he also loved Obama because he was a fellow lefty, his eyes sparkled a bit as he imagined taking a photo with the President.

“Just having that picture in my house in Queens where I was born and raised … that will be a big deal to my family.”

Farmar Kicks Up Charity Effort

100116jordanfarmar_homedepotcenterOn Friday evening in New York, Jordan Farmar joined teammate Pau Gasol in donating to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, which came on top of his previous $2,500 donation to Haiti Relief that resulted from his sinking a 50-foot put earlier in the week.

But even that wasn’t the first time he’d done charitable work in January, because on the 17th at the Home Depot Center, Farmar (pictured above in the lower center) participated in the second annual Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra Celebrity Soccer Challenge.

The event, which helped raise nearly $200,000 for the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the Mia Hamm Foundation, was designed to raise funds and awareness primarily for bone marrow disease, to which Hamm’s brother lost his life in 1997.

Farmar, who shares the same agent as the greatest female soccer player of all time, supported the effort from the sideline in order to ensure his basketball health.

“Mia and Nomar are great people and it was for a great cause,” he said. “We didn’t have a game that day so I was happy to get out there and support them.”

Farmar said the highlight of his day came at halftime, when patients suffering from life-threatening diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma were introduced to their bone marrow donors for the first time.

“It was a lot of fun just being there and especially seeing some of the kids that were there that got helped out by their donors,” Farmar explained. “Just to see how much one person can change another’s life is pretty cool.”

Gasol Donating $1,000 Per Point Tonight

blog_100122paugasolhaitiFor every point Lakers big man Pau Gasol scores tonight against the New York Knicks he will donate $1,000 to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.

The two former presidents established the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund (CBHF) to respond to unmet needs in the country, foster economic opportunity, improve the quality of life over the long term for those affected, and assist the people of Haiti as they rebuild their lives and “build back better,” according to their website, clintonbushhaitifund.org

President Clinton will be on hand at Madison Square Garden for tonight’s game and will be interviewed by ESPN at halftime along with Gasol and the Knicks’ Danilo Gallinari.

Other Wasserman Media Group players like Antawn Jamison, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Tyreke Evans and many other will join in donating monies per point in tonight’s game.

Lakers guard Jordan Farmar, also represented by Wasserman, headlines a group of players making generous contributions to the relief effort.

Earlier this week the Lakers organization and their fans mobilized on several fronts to raise nearly $40,000 for American Red Cross – Haiti Relief and Recovery. Read more about that here.

Farmar Shows Off SAG Card

Jordan Farmar SAG CardAs Jordan Farmar recorded a bit for LetShannonDunk.com after Monday’s practice, I made reference to how smooth he can be on camera.

Legitimately media savvy, Farmar needs but a little prompt before rolling off a 30-second sound bite that sounds like he had written it down and rehearsed several times.

Alas, after I said that, Farmar promptly pulled out his Screen Actor’s Guild card*, suggesting that it’s no accident.
*Farmar appeared on the CBS show “Numb3rs.”

Fair enough.

Farmar’s Improved Play Sparks Bench

Jordan Farmar on NetsL.A.’s nine-game winning streak – beginning on Nov. 17 against Detroit and lasting through the team’s most recent victory over Phoenix on Dec. 6 – has featured more than one common thread, but among the more significant has been a consistent bench contribution from Jordan Farmar.

Take away a poor shooting game against New York (1-of-7 for two points), and the backup point guard has scored at least eight points in every win, reaching double figures five times to average 9.1 points per game, plus 15 assists, 14 rebounds and nine steals. He had averaged just 4.5 points in L.A.’s first 10 games, three of them losses.

Farmar’s even done his best LeBron James defensive impression by adding three impressive chase-from-behind blocks, erasing guaranteed hoops from respective opponents.

“I’m trying to come along and be aggressive, just play the game I know how,” Farmar summarized. “When I see stuff, try to make it happen … just play free and have a good time.”

That’s not to say it’s all been perfect; Farmar’s been particularly frustrated with his sub par performance at the free throw line. He’s made just half of his 12 attempts during the streak and 13-of-20 (65 percent) on the season. Small sample size, sure, but still…

Jordan Farmar dunk“It’s really bothering me,” he said. “The only way for me to stop thinking about it is to get it down so (it’s just) repetition (in games).”

At least he’s nailing them in practice, hitting 95-of-100 shots before addressing reporters after Monday’s session.

His head coach, meanwhile, is pleased with how the L.A. native has been able to find a balance between his aggressive nature and his mandate to stay within the offense.

“I think Jordan got kind of a second wind and realized that he has to be aggressive out there and exhibit his skills,” said Phil Jackson. “We took a part of our game away. We put the second unit back in more confinement and organizational things that they have to do, and so I think it took him a little time to adjust to that.”

That “part of our game” to which Jackson referred is a fast-breaking, up-tempo situation for L.A.’s guards to run (or what he called a “push situation”) that was formerly in place for the second unit. This season, Jackson has taken that aspect out of the playbook, instead leaving at least one (and often two) of the Andrew Bynum-Pau Gasol-Lamar Odom combination in with Farmar, Shannon Brown and either Kobe Bryant or Ron Artest.

It’s no coincidence that Farmar’s play has improved in connection with Odom’s return to the bench in correlation with Gasol’s return from his hamstring injury eight games ago.

Odom may well be the NBA’s best all-around bench player, and is certainly the most valuable big man coming off the pine. While Jackson’s been pleased with his defensive effort, he could use a bit more L.O. on offense.

“We’re still concerned about that he gets into and active into games offensively,” said Jackson. “He’s doing good things defensively but he has to have a presence out there offensively to help that second unit and get some scoring on his own.”

Sure enough, since Gasol came back, Odom has scored only 47 points, just under six per game, focusing instead on his passing, rebounding and defense.

Yet if Odom’s selflessness and Farmar’s limited free throw shooting are two of L.A.’s main “concerns” right now, things are clearly going quite well.