Saturday, July 08, 2006

SPL Notebook: Farmar Plays First Pro Game

By Bruin Basketball Report

Playing in his first professional game, former UCLA Bruin Jordan Farmar scored 17 points in an 89-87 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in Summer Pro League (SPL) action at the Pyramid in Long Beach.

As the Lakers' first-round draft choice this year, Farmar received the honorary last position in the announcement of the starting lineup, and took the court alongside teammates Andrew Bynum, Marcus Douthit, Devin Green and Von Wafer.

Farmar had a solid offensive game but missed all four of his long-distance attempts. He scored all his points on aggressive drives into the paint while demonstrating the ability and strength to get to the rim in traffic.

Yet, Farmar will need to hit his outside shot attempts consistently, especially from three-point distance, if he expects to get playing time in the triangle offense during the regular season.

On defense, Farmar was matched up primarily against Anthony Roberson from Florida, and for the most part did a good job staying in front on defense. However, there were times when Farmar was caught on high screens during the game which allowed his man to slip loose for open shots - Lakers' SPL coach Kurt Rambis could be found counseling him after each incident.

Although just a rookie and now wearing the purple and gold instead of Bruin blue and white, Farmar was still the most vocal leader on the floor - directing teammates to the right spots and pointing out potential missed opportunities from previous plays.

Considering it was the first game of the SPL, its clear Farmar has already picked up many nuances of the Laker triangle offense - an offense which historically has taken most players up to a half season to learn.

Farmar said he was playing instinctively on the court. "To me, it (the triangle offense) is pretty much basic principles," he said. "I just get it."

The best play of the game occurred near the end when Farmar found Andrew Bynum racing down the lane for a lob slam dunk on a fastbreak.

Another Bruin playing for the Lakers SPL squad was Michael Fey. Playing primarily as the back-up center to Andrew Bynum, he scored 5 points and was aggressive on both ends of the court.

Fey held his own while playing against Andreas Glyniadakis, a 7'1 Greek player, and Alexander Johnson a tough 6'9 player from Florida St. The former Bruin center showed no signs of the severe ankle injury which sidelined him for most of his senior year at UCLA.

The Lakers had a chance to tie the Grizzlies in the final seconds of the game, but Lakers' second-round pick Danilo Pinnock missed a tough 15-foot jump shot to end the game. (Bruin note: Jordan Farmar was wide-open at the three-point line for the game winner.)

The Summer Pro League runs through July 19th. Schedule of games may be found at this link.


(photo credit: PopcornMachine/LakersGroundNet)


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