Chat with the Kamenetzky Brothers
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, we'll have ESPNLosAngeles.com Los Angeles Lakers bloggers Andy and Brian Kamenetzky stopping by for their weekly chat.
Before joining ESPNLosAngeles.com, Brian and Andy hosted Lakers Blog for the Los Angeles Times from 2005-09. They host the ESPN Kamenetzky Brothers Lakers PodKast and frequently appear on ESPN Radio 710. As contributors for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com, they have written about virtually every sport known to mankind.
Send your questions now and join the Brothers Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. PT/1:30 p.m. ET!
Andy Kamenetzky (1:30 PM)
Hey everyone. How's it going?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:32 PM)
We'll be here for a while to answer all of your Lakers and NBA questions. Fire away!
Brian Kamenetzky (1:34 PM)
Hey Jones. I haven't heard anything, but Pavlovic has been available a few times this season, so I have a feeling if they were interested, he'd already be on the team.
Do you think Sasha Pavolovic would help us out? He is a good shooter, and we desperately need a catch and shoot guy!
Kamenetzky Brothers. Can you give me some perspective on how well Jeff Green matched up against Gasol and Odom during last years playoffs?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:34 PM)
Byron: Jeff Green has actually been pretty terrible against the Lakers over the last year or so. If you check out his career splits against the Lakers, hs PPG, FG% and 3p% are among the worst of any opponent. I don't know if it's directly the result of problems while checked by Gasol/Odom, something specific to other aspects of the matchup, etc., but for whatever reason, it's pretty pronounced. I've actually written before my opinion that if the Thunder want to get serious against the Lakers, they'd need to upgrade over Green.
Dan (Washington DC)
Will Theo Ratliff be available for the playoff roster?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:36 PM)
Dan: For now, it's looking unlikely. Obviously, things can improve, but my guess is Ratliff won't be able to participate in the playoffs and I'd be very surprised if the Lakers didn't sign a street free agent for emergency use.
steve (la la land)
do you think steve blake can find his place by playoff time? i know it takes time to get used to triangle, but we really havent seen much from him (being a point guard for 2nd unit nor a 3 pt treat that hes known as). and we cant depend on shannon. hes just too streaky. your input?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:37 PM)
Hi Steve. No question, Blake has been a disappointment. Not that he's been uniformly awful, he just hasn't made the sort of impact on a game to game basis as I figured he would. There's a certain lack of assertiveness hurting him, though I've seen some signs of coming out of it. He doesn't need to be great, just to make himself a part of the offense. I don't think it's a question of not knowing what to do from an offensive standpoint in terms of understanding the O, more a question of not knowing quite where he fits in. But yeah, given how much more they're likely to play on the road this postseason compared to the last two, it's important he pick it up.
Who will have to sacrifice minutes, other than Luke Walton, when Barnes gets back?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:42 PM)
Ian: When Barnes is back, nobody will be affected more than Walton, who will return to getting little if any PT. Beyond that, Artest could see his minutes drop, but that's more in his own hands. If Ron doesn't play well, Matt will get more run, as was the case before the injury. But if Ron maintains his current level of play, the impact of Barnes return shouldn't affect him drastically.
Are the Lakers crazy for not pursuing Corey Brewer? He could spell the 2/3 greatly, and considering Artest's inconsistencies... and Barnes just getting back from injury... it would seem like a sound investment. Thoughts?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:42 PM)
Hey Drewski-The more I think about Brewer, the more I like him, though he would be unquestionably a luxury. We talked about him last night in our Lakers Late Night postgame chat- what's appealing about him is that he has a very specific skill set, centered around the defensive end. He can guard twos and threes, and tends to have a very good impact on that side of the ball. He's not a good shooter, so from that end he won't address any shooting questions. But he's a good player. Ironically, that he's good, athletic, and young is likely what keeps him away from the Lakers. He's not some 34 year old dude looking for a ring. Based on what I'm reading, he's trying to find a place he can play, and perhaps stay. His youth likely means he'll cost more than the average street buyout guy, so that likely puts him out of LAL's range, given the payroll and lack of true need.
Richard K (Cypress, CA)
How's about Sheed for the Lakers?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:46 PM)
Richard K: No. Sheed was out of shape all of last season and hasn't played this year at all. Can you honestly picture him helping? Plus, he's unlikely to come out of retirement to play 5-10 minutes a night, assuming everyone stays healthy. Don't be seduced by a "name."
puddle (Los Angeles)
Is it just me, or do the Lakers never really get involved in picking up these veterans who are cut from bad teams after a salary dump trade? Boston and Miami get Murphy and Bibby respectively, and, just like in years past, the Lakers sat on the sideline and watched. Do they believe their team is already good enough or do they not want to mess with chemistry or add payroll or what?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:49 PM)
Hey Puddle, good to see you!I think it's a combination of lack of money available- you may have noticed the already high payroll and luxury tax obligations- and lack of need. If you look at who has gone around, none of these guys really fit in with L.A. Bibby isn't good enough anymore to justify the disruption in the rotation to bring him in. As much as people complain about the PG setup- often with cause- Bibby doesn't solve those problems, particularly defensively. Meanwhile, there's a real risk of upsetting the apple cart by appearing to take a guy like Fisher and shoving him aside mid-season. Murphy is a guy who if they got him, he'd be a luxury. When/where would he play? And again, he'd have to learn the system, something tough to do in 20 games. Basically, unless there's a clear need, they just don't see the purpose in bringing in guys just to do it. Yeah, they'd be nice, but come with a cost, too, which has to be considered. Someone like Gadzuric, if he's around, makes a little more sense, b/c with Ratliff's injury they might need a big, but I suspect they'll wait until the need arises... and if it does, they've got bigger problems then potentially missing out on Dan Gadzuric.
lilmamba (sin city)
What signs can laker fans look for that would tell us lakers want D. Howard?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:50 PM)
I suspect you won't see many. There will be media reports, but the Lakers are always very coy about this sort of thing. You'll get a lot of talk from agents, "league sources," and so on, but very little from the team itself. I'm sure they'll explore the options, though, as they would any great player that could be available.
Curry to the Heat how real is this? Will Curry ever play again anywhere?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:50 PM)
LeeJackson: As a Laker fan, I only hope Curry to the Heat is real. The guy has played 10 games since the 2008 season and has been awful for eons. The odds of him doing anything to help Miami feel absurdly low.
Rob L. (los angeles)
sandwich tip of the day: to add some spice to your roast beef sandwich add some horseradish....i think its good
Brian Kamenetzky (1:51 PM)
With Tony Parker out for the next two to four weeks for the Spurs, how much ground do you think the Lakers can make up and have a possible run at the 1 seed?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:53 PM)
Hi Adam-Unfortunately, the math still doesn't work on that. The Spurs have a seven game lead with about 20 to play, meaning even if they go .500 the rest of the way-- unlikely-- LA would have maybe two losses to play with.Plus, they still have to pass Dallas, a team they trail by three in the loss column. San Antonio is going to be the number one seed, and as I wrote yesterday on the blog, the challenge facing the Lakers to catch the Mavs is actually pretty stiff. With Dirk in the lineup, they've been elite.
Why didn't the Lakers consider Troy Murphy? They don't really have a 'stretch 4' that can hit threes. This may come back to haunt them in June.
Andy Kamenetzky (1:54 PM)
Lucas: It may have been as much a question of Murphy considering the Lakers. If Drew/LO/Pau are all healthy, he's not gonna play much at all. But in the meantime, Boston has more injury concerns with their big men (Shaq, JO, even KG) and Green/Krstic are still question marks as immediate fits. The chances for bigger PT and a role favor Boston, in my opinion. Either way, I don't ever see the absence of Troy Murphy "haunting" them.
hello (in class)
really enjoy the LoL blog, keep up the good work! had been very scared of the spurs until some rumblings have been coming out of various commentators that as an offense-based team, they may not be able to d up for the playoffs. are the spurs beatable in a 7-game road playoff series?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:58 PM)
Hi Hello-Happy to see you have your priorities in order. :)As to your question, the Lakers certainly can beat San Antonio, even as a road team. Some of it will come down to health- who is in the best shape when the series rolls around? As for SA's ability on the defensive end, I think they'll be fine. Perhaps not quite as elite as they've been in years past, but still plenty good, and good enough to get it done. Particularly as games naturally slow down, and they get more time in between games to recoup. The Spurs are a lot like the Lakers in that they measure things as the season goes along.What's interesting about a potential Lakers/Spurs series is they're probably the two teams to whom home court matters least, given the veteran nature of each, and all the playoff experience each has. Still, it benefits the Spurs to play on their court.
True or false? There's something sexy about a couple sharing a scent.
Andy Kamenetzky (1:59 PM)
Steeve: False. I fell for my wife in very large part because she smells nothing like me. Not that I smell "bad," per se, but I smell like a dude. She doesn't, and there's no reason for use to find a middle ground. Plus, sharing a scent sounds more narcissistic than "hot."
Rob L. (los angeles)
what can andrew bynum do to pick up his offense numbers? we all know he had an injury, but should this be a concern?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:00 PM)
Hey Rob. I wouldn't worry about Bynum's numbers offensively. They're directly linked to the number of touches he gets, and in this offense surrounded by all of L.A.'s talent, he just doesn't get enough opportunities to put up big numbers. It's hard to build big offensive stats when he might get seven to ten shots a game. Keep an eye on how he moves defensively and on the boards. How well he's filling the lane, contesting shots, recovering on P and R's, etc. that's a much better sign of his health than points, etc. Last night, for example, there was a trip where he created an offensive rebound for Gasol, then grabbed three more on one trip. Those are good signs.
Who would the Lakers rather see in the finals? Boston or Miami? I think the Perkins trade makes that a tough call.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:02 PM)
Sean, I agree the Perkins relocation changes the equation a lot, but for the time being, I'd still rather face Miami. I think the Lakers match up very well against them and Miami are completely unproven as a playoff unit. The regular season and the playoffs are entirely different animals and I'll always be more concerned by the group with an established track record.
bdawg75 (oakland, ca)
'Sup K Bros. Do you think things will work out smoothly when Matt Barnes comes back, specifically with Ron. Will Ron react ok, still produce, and such? He seems to be more focused now.you guys are my go-to dudes for real Lakers insight, perspective and hiliarity! peace!
Brian Kamenetzky (2:02 PM)
bdawg-I'd like to think he'll be ok, but it's difficult to speak in absolutes when it comes to Artest. If he starts sitting more fourth quarters, as it was earlier in the year, I wouldn't be shocked to see him backslide. On the other hand, if he keeps playing as well as he has, PJ will likely leave him on the floor more than he did earlier in the year. I have a feeling Artest will be given every opportunity to fail, and keep his confidence up. Fingers crossed, it'll be fine. Thanks, too, for the nice words.
Eddy Curry (Backup at C?)
Ratliff is done for season - won't we need insurance and 6 more fouls? Was hoping for Gadzuric but didn't happen - thoughts?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:04 PM)
Do you expect Ron Artest to continue his recent trend of being involved on both ends of the floor or is this just a good stretch in an otherwise unremarkable season for Ron? And how important will his play be to a 3-peat?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:05 PM)
Casey: Reading the tea leaves for a guy like Ron is a dicey exercise on its best day, so I'm reluctant to even try. He seems in a good zone, but we've seen him find what appears to be a comfortable place, only to slip back again. But as to Ron's importance, I think it's very high. The Lakers don't need him to play like an All-Star, but he needs to maintain his defensive impact while hitting open shots and making good decisions on offense. Ron can change games through his energy. He can also be a unique detriment when things aren't clicking or he's indecisive.
Any chance the Laker's will bite on Eddy Curry for a backup center, now that's he just received a buyout?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:06 PM)
Chris: I certainly hope not.
John Equihua (Bellflower)
Luke Walton- is his time up as a Laker? will he ever be the player he was? can the Lakers salvage anything when he's an expiring contract? or will he move on to be an assistant coach?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:06 PM)
Hi John-Is his time up? Nope. Not until they can move that contract, so it's going to take a little time. Likely, he plays it out until he's an expiring deal. I think, in a lot of ways, he's like Adam Morrison. A guy who had limited athleticism robbed of it by injuries, in this case to his back. Not that he ever was a dynamo, but Walton did have a little more hop and lift, a little more quickness. Now everything he does has to be so perfect in order to be productive, and it's hard to manage that, especially with (deservedly) limited playing time. Wouldn't surprise me to see him pop up as a coach relatively soon after that contract is up, though.
hey guys, love the triangle show!!!! I can honestly say i see the lakers going on undefeated on this upcoming road trip, what do you guys think?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:09 PM)
Maloney: I guess undefeated isn't impossible, but that's a seriously tall order. San Antonio/Atlanta/Miami/Dallas. Not the easiest four game stretch. Granted, Tony Parker is out for the Spurs, Atlanta has struggled, Miami just lost at home to the Knicks, and who knows if Tyson Chandler will be available next week. But still, 4-0 is ambitious. Then again, might as well aim high. I'd be happy with 3-1, though.
David (San jose)
Now that Tyson Chandler has gone down with an ankle injury, what do you think our chances are of catching the Mavs? Still no chance of catching the spurs with parker going down..?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:10 PM)
Hey David-No shot at SA, even with the Parker injury. Not unless they go bad in ways nobody anticipates. As for Dallas, with Chandler out at least a couple games, there could be an opening. They've gone 1-2 in the three games he missed earlier in the year, according to Jeff Caplan of ESPNDallas.com. LA is three games back in the loss column, and with 21 to play, the two head to head games are critical. Dallas, with Dirk in the lineup, has been playing at an elite level, so it's hard to count on them losing more than six or seven games the rest of the way. That means the Lakers would have to win 15 or 16 to catch them. Do-able, but no picnic, you know?
Tmart (New Orleans)
Hello K-Bros. Who do you think the biggest threat in the West is for the Lakers: Spurs or Mavs?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:12 PM)
Dallas is very deep, and can toss a lot of lineups at you. If they didn't have that "Dallas stigma" attached to them, where people expect playoff failure (and, arguably, the team does, too) they'd be taken a lot more seriously. It's a mistake to look past them.LA benefits in that San Antonio and OKC are likely to play each other, meaning one of the strongest challengers will be eliminated by the other. All three are great, but I'll say a healthy Spurs squad is probably the toughest. But it's a tough call. LA could lose a series to any of the three.
Chris (The Cruz)
What do you guys think of Chicago's chances coming out of the East?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:13 PM)
Better than people give them credit, that's for sure.
Brian (Fullerton, CA)
Not that I'm complaining or expect any sort of development THIS season, but one thing I have felt rather disappointed from Phil has been his relative lack of development of young players. You look at Pop and his contingent of Blair, Neal, Hill, etc. I look at the potential of Ebanks and Caracter and only HOPE that Phil and whomever replaces him can properly harness their talents, because it would kill me to see them realizing their talents elsewhere.Thoughts?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:16 PM)
Brian: I don't agree with that statement. Shannon Brown was a journeyman nobody until Phil gave a him a shot, and in midseason no less. Trevor Ariza bounced around until PJ gave him a chance. Jordan Farmar was given a big role in his first two seasons. Andrew Bynum's only coach has been PJ, and he's turned out very well. I don't think this knock on Phil is entirely accurate. Also, Pop's usage of these young players has been the result of his hand forced as much as a willingness. Hill has needed to play minutes with Parker injured. Blair has taken up minutes with a depleted/older front court. Given his druthers, Pop, like most coaches, including Phil, would play the vets over kids, especially with a championship as a goal. I honestly hear what you're saying, as someone who wished Phil would have just rolled the dice on Caracter for 5-10 minutes a game with Pau obviously exhausted. But on the whole, I think PJ has been open, even if youngsters aren't his preference.
Mike (Ladera Ranch)
I am probably getting ahead of myself and I like BShaw but I would prefer to see them go after another coach after Phil retires. I like Nate McMillan and I know Kobe does too. Any chance that happens?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:16 PM)
Hey Mike-I think Nate becomes the most intriguing name out there as an alternative to Shaw, assuming the Blazers don't extend him. He's a great coach, no question, and a guy who commands respect, particularly for how he's adapted to horrible injury issues in Portland and still kept that team very competitive. Depending on the results this year, there will definitely be a strong element wondering if the Lakers are best turned over to a coach with more experience in the lead chair than B-Shaw, though I still think Shaw is the leading candidate.
lewis (Los Angeles)
how is the impact of matt barnes going to help the lakers
Brian Kamenetzky (2:19 PM)
Hi Lewis-It'll be very helpful. Barnes is a versatile defender, so he gives PJ a lot of different lineup options he can use to match up with teams on both sides of the floor. Moreover, he's one of the best per minute rebounding forwards in the league, particularly on the offensive side. He creates a ton of second chance points for the Lakers by crashing the glass, as well as "cheap" points picked up around the rim, either on broken plays, put backs, or with good cuts and easy finishes. The Lakers don't have much depth on the wing, so Barnes back in the lineup is big in that regard. It eliminates those minutes going to Walton, can help shorten Kobe's nightly load, as well. I don't want to make it out like they're getting back a superstar, but he's an important piece.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:19 PM)
John: I like Azubuike, but he's a dicey guy to bring aboard. His health/stamina are in question, and if he really isn't ready even for 10 minutes per game, you've wasted a spot. Were the Lakers not a playoff team, he's a perfect guy for a "what the hell" flier. But on a Three-Peat run, I wouldn't do it, unless the front office knows something I don't.
Frank (San Clemente)
The lack of depth for the Lakers is a big concern. There seems no consistency from the bench. What is wrong with those guys. A long playoff run needs more than 6 or 7 players.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:21 PM)
Hey Frank-As I mentioned, getting Barnes back will help, but at the same time, you're right- they need more consistency, particularly from the backcourt. And particularly on the road. Both Barnes and Brown have HORRID home/road splits, putting up numbers that aren't nearly productive enough away from Staples. It's something that needs to change a little going into the playoffs. The Lakers are going to need some production from someone on the bench night to night.
Theo (Los Angeles)
Hey guys, is it safe to say that maybe my mineral diet didn't help out all that much?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:21 PM)
Theo: In retrospect, you might have needed a 91st mineral thrown into the mix.http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/lakers/post/_/id/9525/theo-ratliff-on-championships-mentoring-minerals-video
AmitK (New Delhi)
Why won't you guys talk to me anymore ? 'Cuz of the Denzel Washington bit I did ?? ( JK...I don't know if you guys answer questions you receive on your mailbag..do you ? ).Thanks
Andy Kamenetzky (2:22 PM)
Amit: King Kong ain't got (BLEEP) on you, my man.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:23 PM)
Hi Amit-It's not personal-- the mailbag stacks up, and sometimes we miss stuff-- If you really want to get our attention, use @espnlandolakers on Twitter. That's in front of us more often... Thanks!
Josh (Columbus, OH)
Think the Lakers have any interest in someone like Leon Powe or even Arroyo?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:25 PM)
Josh: Arroyo was somebody Brian and I debated on Lakers Late Night after the Minny win. I would be curious about taking a flier. He's shooting better than Blake (and Shannon, lately), and is a decent playmaker. The Lakers could use a floor spreader. Even as a 10 minute player, he could perhaps find opportunities. I wouldn't say it's a "mistake" not to sign him, or the title hinges on his inclusion, but I hope his name is at last considered, if nothing else.
Erik S. (los angeles)
how who will end with the number on seed in the west?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:26 PM)
Erik: Save a massive collapse, San Antonio.
Why haven't the Laker's name popped up in the Corey Brewer sweepstakes?? He's a terrible shooter, but already knows the triangle from playing under Rambis and could be another lockdown defender that could help out in the playoffs against some of the elite wings.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:26 PM)
Hi Geevis-My guess is payroll, as much as anything. I'm sure the Lakers appreciate Brewer's potential value, but so do a lot of other teams. I doubt he'll sign for some sort of pro-rated veteran's minimum, and given how sensitive the Lakers are to adding payroll these days (understandable), particularly for a guy who would be a luxury at this point.Other teams, Dallas for example, have much more available to offer (they still have a mid-level, or part of it at least, whereas the Lakers don't). In the end, LA is likely to be aced out for a variety of reasons.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:27 PM)
Here's Marc Stein's latest on Brewer. You can see LA is at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to money they can offer. Dallas would be a nice fit for him, and Cuban has the $ to spend. http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/25631/latest-on-the-chase-for-corey-brewer
what are your thoughts about sundays game against the spurs?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:30 PM)
I'm a little disappointed Parker won't be playing, but in the end neither team will panic from a win or loss. Nor will they read too much into it. I think it's important the Lakers come out on Sunday and play a good game. Do they have to win? It would be nice, but isn't essential. Something similar to the last game at Staples, which was .1 seconds from being among the grittier wins of the year, will be fine. Should they get blown out again on SAS' floor, that would be a little more worrisome.
Im reading a lot of potential free agent pick ups questions, but what are the chances the lakers actually get/want one of these guys?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:33 PM)
Not high. Unless there's a clear need, the Lakers aren't going to go after someone as a pure luxury. Add in competitive disadvantages when dealing with the bidding for a guy like Brewer, and it just feels unlikely. None of the players available (that they can get) really make much of an impact. They're handy to have around, perhaps, but as an insurance policy. Like I said before, if the season comes down to whether they picked up Dan Gadzuric or not, chances are they weren't winning anyway.
Last night on the broadcast they were talking about Kobe not getting calls because he's a star player how do his foul shots compare to other stars in the league are the right?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:33 PM)
Jason: Kobe averages 7 FT's per game, which ties him for 11th in the league. Last season, he was 9th. There are definitely games where Kobe doesn't get the "love" I'd expect, Oklahoma City the most recent example. But there are also times where he takes a lot of jumpers, which won't get him to the stripe as often. Plus, and this is just a hypothesis, as opposed to something I've been told, I also think refs try to shy away from what they view as Kobe going 1 on 3 barreling into traffic EXPECTING a call. Basically, the idea being, they're not gonna bail Kobe out. Right or wrong, it's the vibe I've gotten.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:34 PM)
Hey folks. Time for one more...
DXC (Parts Unknown)
Who should Laker Nation prefer in a first round playoff series? My thought is New Orleans or Denver, as opposted to Portland or Memphis.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:36 PM)
DXC: My first choice would be New Orleans. Chris Paul is always dangerous, and Carl Landry has been very good against the Lakers, but all in all, they strike me as the most vulnerable. And Portland is the team I'd want least.
Drew (So Cal)
BK - I've just went Q-Ball status, any thoughts on making my Dome Shine and Polished? What is your preferred razor or method?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:38 PM)
Drew-These are very important questions. First of all, you have to start treating your head kind of like your face. Need to make sure it's clean and moisturized. Everything is there for the world to see, so the little things matter. And sunscreen, my man. Lots of it, and it's worth investing in a nice bottle from time to time. As for shaving, I'm currently using a Schick Hydro 5, with solid results. But I'm not brand loyal (got that one with a good coupon). Definitely do some sort of preshave oil or cream before applying the actual shaving cream, and a nice aftershave on the dome feels spectacular, and helps avoid bumps and such. Good luck, my friend. Welcome.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:39 PM)
Thanks, everyone! Gotta run. If we missed your Q, hit us up on Twitter (@espnlandolakers) or the mailbag.