Yet, it’s easy to forget about how well Jordan Farmar played in his first game back from a serious hamstring injury that sidelined him for 16 games. Farmar finished with 21 points, eight assists and hit five 3-pointers. I’m beginning to convince myself that when Farmar initially injured his hamstring on December 1 against the Portland Trail Blazers, that is when the Lakers lost their stride this year.
He easily has the best combination of quickness and playmaking ability of anyone on the roster, which L.A. missed. This was on display on Wednesday night as Farmar consistently broke down the defense off the dribble, which catapulted the Lakers to a 36-17 lead after the first quarter. He also showed his jumper hadn’t missed a beat, which further spread the court for his teammates.
Unfortunately, Farmar felt some tightness in his calf late in the game and had to leave. This left the Lakers with five available players and set the stage for one of the weirdest finishes in NBA history. Robert Sacre then proceeded to foul out, which would have given the team only four players left, but a little-known rule reminiscent of the summer league allowed Sacre to stay in the game.
If Sacre had to leave the game, Mike D’Antoni stated he would have put Farmar back in the game and have him stand in the corner. The good news is that Farmar’s injury wasn’t deemed serious and his exit was for precautionary reasons. The Lakers clearly need him, and his first game back is hopefully a sign of things to come for the rest of his career — hopefully in the purple and gold.