Did The Lakers Really Upgrade with Blake over Farmar
Last season, Jordan Farmar provided the Lakers with an offensive spark off the bench and a change of pace to Fishers methodical ways on the court. His offense, while potent at times was incredibly sporadic. He would have a horrible game like the one on New Years Day last year against the Sacramento Kings where he went 1 for 4 from the field and ended with 2 points, then would follow that up with an 8 for 14 performance and 24 points against Dallas two days later. Those types of ups and downs offensively were prevalent all season long. The Lakers rode Farmar’s offense rollercoaster, reaping the benefits when Farmar was on, and limiting his minutes when he wasn’t.
Farmar struggled mightily to stay in front of guards defensively and often drove the coaches crazy with his frantic pace; combine that with the inconsistent offensive production and it is understandable why his minutes fluctuated so greatly. You would routinely see games where Farmar would play around eight minutes and other nights where he would get over 20.
At seasons’ end, after the Lakers completed their second straight run to a championship successfully, the team and Farmar expectedly parted ways. From all reports, it was a mutual decision. The Lakers looked for consistency and headiness in the back up spot to Fisher and Jordan looked for a larger role in a system more suited for his skill set.
With the Lakers only having the mid level exception to sign a free agent, it was slim pickings. Some of the names available were Luke Ridnour, Shaun Livingston, Eddie House and Earl Watson. The Lakers however, knew exactly who they wanted to fill Farmar’s role and acted quickly by agreeing to terms with veteran Steve Blake one day after the free agency period began.
We are near the end of the season and at this point, it is hard to say whether the back up spot left by Farmar was successfully upgraded with the acquisition of Steve Blake this off season.