For all those who remember getting report cards every quarter in school, it’s time to do the same for the Lakers. After playing their 20th game tonight against San Antonio, the Lakers will be a quarter of their way through the season, hard as it is to believe.
If we’re handing out grades, I’ve got two players with A’s so far in Luke Walton and Jordan Farmar. Walton has had a remarkable season considering he figured to back up Vladimir Radmanovic when training camp started. Instead, Walton has become a fixture in the starting lineup and is averaging 12.5 points and shooting 53.6 percent.
Farmar has exceeded all expectations for a player who turned 20 at the end of last month and was a late first-round draft pick. When you looked at the Lakers’ roster before the season, it was hard to figure a way into the rotation for the rookie.
But Farmar is the first guard off the bench most nights and has played ahead of Smush Parker in the fourth quarter of two games. That he is shooting close to 50 percent might be the biggest surprise, considering Farmar comes into games cold off the bench. He has been an effective leader for the second team.
I’d give Kobe Bryant a B so far. The 52-point game against Utah was a statement coming back from knee surgery and Bryant made the switch from the wing to the backcourt for the sake of the team. It’s just hard to forget the Bryant of last season who carried the Lakers for games, weeks and months at a time.
I’ll refrain from giving out other grades – - I do have to see these guys every day – - but if you post your first quarter report card, I’ll make sure it gets up on the site.