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The Lakers This Week: I Think I'm Going To Boston

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After years of pressure from thoughtful mathematicians, the NBA has started keeping a new official statistic — the old plus/minus. It’s a simple idea that hockey has used for decades: How much does a team outscore its opponent (or get outscored) when a specific player is on the floor. It’s pretty simple.

Off the top of your head, who leads the Lakers in this new stat (if averaged per game)? Kobe Bryant? Nope. Lamar Odom? No. Brian Cook? You’ve got to be kidding me.

Nope, in order it is Luke Walton, Andrew Bynum, Jordan Farmar and Vladamir Radmanovic. All guys off the bench — which makes sense because this past week in particular it has been the Lakers bench that has driven this team to three wins and a 6-3 record.

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Against the Bulls Sunday night, it was a third-quarter run sparked by Jordan Farmar that got the Lakers the win. Two nights earlier it was Farmar’s pressure defense that sparked a fourth quarter come from behind win against Detroit. Here’s what blogger Nate Jones said over at Forum Blue & Gold after sitting behind the Lakers bench for a game:

Jordan Farmar is the difference maker on this team. When he is in the game he totally changes the way the Lakers play. He’s aggressive on defense and then pushes the ball at every opportunity. He gets everyone on the team pumped up with his exciting play. Also, in only his second year, he’s already directing everyone else on what to do. When Bynum was slow getting back off of a rotation making it so Farmar was guarding one of the Pistons bigs in the post, Farmar got on Bynum’s ass about it. Bynum got a little offended until Lamar basically came over and told him to shut up.