Thursday, July 20, 2006

SPL Notebook: Farmar Passes Summer Test

By Bruin Basketball Report

Former UCLA Bruin Jordan Farmar finished his final Summer Pro League (SPL) game with a flourish in a 111-108 Lakers loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Matched primarily against former Villanova-star Kyle Lowry, Farmar scored 23 points on 7 of 15 shooting including 2 of 4 on three-pointers. He also handed out 3 assists while demonstrating again his comfort level within the triangle offense.

"I was just trying to run the offense and take what was given to me, and try to be aggressive," Farmar said.

In eight SPL games, Farmar averaged 16.1 points and 4.4 assists per game while shooting 52% from the field.

Famar has demonstrated surprisingly good quickness, getting to the rim and finishing. He has also shown an excellent midrange game.

He has been a vocal leader throughout league play, directing players to the right spots on the floor and exalting them to finish strong down the stretch in close games.

Lakers' SPL Coach Kurt Rambis could not be more complimentary about the team's first-round selection this year. "Jordan has been tremendous," Rambis said. "He picked up the triangle offense. He's a gym rat and a nasty competitor."

Despite high praise and a solid showing in the SPL, Farmar has room for improvement and much to prove to his new team as an incoming collegiate player.

The rookie point-guard still needs to improve his outside shot, he was only 6 of 23 on three-pointers for just 26% during the SPL. Hitting from the outside will be key for Farmar if he expects to play significant minutes at the point in Phil Jackson's triangle offensive scheme.

Although Farmar has been doing a better job fighting and getting on top of screens, its clear he needs to get stronger physically in order to compete in the NBA, especially on the defensive end.

Farmar expects to do a lot of weight lifting between now and the Laker's' training camp which begins October in Maui. "Once this is over, I have to get to work," Farmar said. "When you get in there with the big men, you've got to box out and rebound."

Last week, the Lakers signed 6'1 free-agent guard Shammond Williams, the former Tar Heel had been playing in Europe the last two years. Williams is an outstanding outside shooter but a marginal defender and more of a shoot-first point guard.

Unless the Lakers make further moves in their roster, they still won't have a clear picture at the point-guard position going into training camp. Last season's point-guards Sasha Vujacic and Smush Parker did not provide consistent play.

With the impression Farmar left on Laker coaches at SPL, he certainly has the chance to contribute signficant minutes this season with the Lakers, but much will depend if he continues to improve his game during the offseason.

Michael Fey, another former Bruin on the Lakers' SPL team, played in 6 of the 8 summer games and averaged 5 points and 1.7 rebounds in 14 minutes per contest.

Although Fey is not expected to be invited to the Lakers training camp later in October, he does expect to play professionally, either in the NBDL or overseas next season.


(photo credit: PopcornMachine/LakersgroundNet)


Post a Comment

<< Back To Bruin Basketball Report Home