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Do The Lakers Still Believe in Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown?

Hadarii JonesSenior Writer IJune 29, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 10:  Shannon Brown #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers blocks the layup of Brandon Jennings #3 of the Milwaukee Bucks with Jordan Farmar #1 at Staples Center on January 10, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

One of the Los Angeles Lakers' biggest off-season concerns is their situation at the point guard position and whether or not Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown are the team's long-term solutions.

Derek Fisher is a free agent this year and, regardless if he returns or not, the perception around Los Angeles is the Lakers could benefit by upgrading their talent at the lead guard position.

It's not that Farmar or Brown don't possess the talent to be a capable backup or starter for the Lakers, but neither has displayed the consistency needed when running the show for the two-time defending champions.

Farmar has been perceived as the point-guard-in-waiting ever since he decided to forgo his final seasons at UCLA, but his on-court performances have rarely matched his ability.

Farmar has decent size, superior quickness, a nice jump shot, and great leaping ability, but so far has not been able to combine all those skills in a manner that makes him a dependable player.

He has shown flashes of brilliance, and few guards can stay in front of his first step, but mental lapses on both ends of the court nullify those brief periods where Farmar appears to be a competent player.

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Farmar's abilities made it hard for Lakers' coach Phil Jackson to keep him on the bench, but there were several instances where it seemed evident that Jackson's trust in him had faded.

Brown's situation is a little different from Farmar's because his size and strength make it easier to play either of the guard positions, therefore his value is increased due to versatility.

Like Farmar, Brown is also a superior athlete who was blessed with great natural skills like his leaping ability, but he too has yet to develop into a consistent player.

Brown's energy and athleticism have given Lakers fans many special moments, but he is also victim to the numerous mental lapses that have plagued Farmar for the majority of his career.

Sometimes Brown looks lost on defense and his inability to recognize switches hurt the Lakers in the postseason, especially against the Phoenix Suns.

Brown's tendency to double-team in the post rather than staying with his man on the perimeter led to an abundance of wide open shots for Phoenix's perimeter players, and on many occasions Brown's assignment seemed obvious.

But, when the Lakers are making their decisions on Brown and Farmar, Brown is likely to receive more leniency due to his relatively shorter amount of time as a member of the team.

But will the Lakers finally decide a move needs to be made in order for them to compete for a third consecutive NBA title?

The general consensus seems to be yes, but I'm not so sure Los Angeles will travel down that path considering the valuable experiences both Brown and Farmar have gained the past two seasons.

There are certainly other players available who would look more attractive to the Lakers than Farmar or Brown, but both players have proven themselves on the game's grandest stage.

If the Lakers choose to cut ties with either player, they may be receiving an upgrade in talent, but the drop-off in experience could be something that comes back to haunt them in the postseason.

The Lakers should think long and hard about any decision to change the basic makeup of their roster. After all, any move seems a lot less urgent when you're coming off of back-to-back championships.

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