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 (1:33 PM)
Hey everyone. Let's get 'er rolling!
Is Pau Gasol's frustration over a lack of touches legitimate? Does Mike Brown need to change things up a bit?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:36 PM)
Khan: Yes, and yes. There's no question the Lakers would be better served finding more ways to get Pau touches down low (which is what he's specifically talking about). It would increase his options as a scorer and a facilitator. Unfortunately, it's a little easier said than done. Andrew Bynum can't be played as easily at the high post, and Kobe has been living in the mid-post area these days, rather effectively. To keep the floor space, that means placing Pau outside further. Plus, the Lakers' lack of perimeter play-makers increases the need for Pau to play this role. Thus, it'll take some imagination for Mike Brown to figure out the best balance. But it's imperative he does.
Mike (Ladera Ranch)
Hey Guys- Currently the Lakers are 10th in the West with a road heavy schedule coming up. It's no secret that they are not a good road team. What are the chances that they actually miss the playoffs?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:40 PM)
Mike: I don't think it's impossible for the Lakers to miss the playoffs, but for the time being, I'd also say it's improbable. The Lakers have played more games than nearly every team in the league, which means more fatigue and fewer practices. Factor in how they've been learning a new system, and the struggles we've seen should be expected. I'm hopeful the next few weeks, which afford the Lakers more practice time, even while hitting the road, can help them iron out some kinks. If by mid-to-late February things aren't looking better, then it may be a more legit concern.
Whats really gonna happen with this Laker team... is Jim Buss hesitant to pull any trades whats the problem?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:43 PM)
Daniel: To some degree, yes. If the big fish to land is Dwight Howard, as most people believe, then the Lakers may have to do some waiting. Orlando isn't gonna trade him until absolutely necessary (assuming they do at all), and right now, the team is too good to feel their hands are tied. Until that moment arrives, the Lakers might be able to make a B-level or so move using the trade exception, but anything huge will have to wait.
Is there any chance the Lakers actually miss the playoffs? They can easily be under 500 after the next 5 games.
Andy Kamenetzky (1:45 PM)
Heisenburg: I just answered that question, but I put your question through anyway purely outta mutual "Breaking Bad" love. Although it's actually "Heisenberg"... Unless, of course, this is your real name and that's how you spell it. Which is obviously well within your rights.
Do you think the Clippers would really trade Mo Williams to the Lakers? Donald Sterling doesn't really have a love for the Lakers, so how would this come into play?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:47 PM)
Spankee: I can't see why the Clips would send Mo across the hallway. He's playing too well, and too important to their playoff prospects as the only reliable bench scorer, plus insurance for a Paul or Billups injury. And more importantly, who do the Lakers have that the Clips would be so gangbusters to get their hands on?
Do you expect any moves by the Lakers in terms of trades in the near future?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:48 PM)
Ty: I actually just wrote about this, but no. And here are the reasons why, if you check out the link. http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/lakers/post/_/id/26279/hold-the-mayo-the-lakers-immediate-options-for-help-could-remain-limited
jake (hermosa beach)
the lakers will be lucky to finish anything higher than a 7 seed in the playoff race this year and definitely wont make it out of the first round of the playoffs.....some moves need to be made but unfortunately under the new CBA...its just not going to happen
Arman (Los Angeles)
Do you think lakers can do a 3 team trade with the nets and magic, la get deron Williams and Dwight, the nets get darrous Morris pau and Andrew goudelock and magic get Andrew Bynum and anthony morrow?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:52 PM)
Arman: Unless the Nets know for certain they're not getting Dwight Howard, I'm very confident they won't move Williams. The goal is to pair up Deron with a star, not to move him. But if that moment did arrive, I'm not sure Pau would fit the Nets' needs well. They can't really build around him, and with that team, he'd only make them moderately competitive while eating up a lotta cap space. What's the point? It's a band-aid approach that just leaves them spinning wheels. I personally think they'd be better off making the move to New York with more draft picks and salary flexibility, in the long run.
D. Williams (New Jersey)
When is Mitch going to give my agent a call? If they wait too long, you just might see me in a Dallas uniform.
Andy Kamenetzky (1:54 PM)
D. Williams: I imagine Mitch Kupchak has called your agent. Until D. Howard or D.Howard's agent pushes his own relocation issue hard, I'm guessing you're likely staying put.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:58 PM)
James (Los Angeles)
Do you think the feeling is that CP3 wanted to be a clipper rather than a Laker?....because his agent wouldnt have pushed for the clippers to come back in the deal then
Brian Kamenetzky (2:02 PM)
Hey James-I don't think that's it. By then, as is my understanding, the Lakers just weren't an option. So it's a matter of trying to get his guy out of New Orleans and to a city/team he might want.
Would you pull the trigger on a Scola and Lowry for Gasol trade?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:04 PM)
Trav: I would, but I doubt Houston pulls the trigger. Lowry is playing at an All-Star-ish level, and the Rockets, from everything I've gathered, love the guy. Plus, they don't have enough behind him to feel confident. Dragic isn't a great option as a starter, and I wouldn't want to rely on Jonny Flynn for major minutes.
K. Bryant (Staples)
Hey guys. Pau has to make himself more assertive in the offense. If he can't get positioning on the guy that guarding him down low, then how am I supposed to get him the ball? Why do I see him shooting 3's and more jumpshots. I know he's 7 feet tall, but sometimes I think he thinks he's Dirk Nowitzki out there at times!
Brian Kamenetzky (2:05 PM)
Plus, Lowry has a very, very favorable contract for someone playing at his level.
Brett H. (Van Nuys)
Kobe's increasing contract will prevent the Lakers from re-building via free agency and our trade assets beyong Bynum are nil. Any chance Kobe can "retire" early and the come back for less money since he has no opt out. Winning trumps money for him, no?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:05 PM)
Not in a million years would he do that. Plus, it's against the rules.
Matt (Claremont, CA)
Yo K Bros! Love your show and the work you guys have done! No offense to Coach Brown, because he is helping defensively. But Rick Adelman... His team beated the Clippers when LAL had 3 tries to get it right. And Brian Shaw... The Pacers are doing well for themselves. Did we goof on the coaching search?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:08 PM)
Depends on what you're looking for. In the long term, they could be just fine with Mike Brown. In the short term, someone like B Shaw or Adelman, who run systems either identical to or very similar to what the Lakers were already doing last season. With the lockout in place and a high probability for a short season, that would have made any transition smoother. Personally, I was big on Adelman. I thought he had the best balance of continuity, while still bringing some gravitas and a new voice. Brown represented sweeping change, and Shaw the status quo.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:11 PM)
Aaron: Interesting suggestion on Barbosa. I imagine Toronto would want to hang onto him until it's clear they're not making the playoffs, since the East's bottom section is still pretty wide open. But maybe the Lakers would be willing to take on the last part of his salary.
Mike (Culver City)
If all other game changer trade options look doomed by the time the deadline comes, what about at least a guy like Barbosa, end of his contract, not part of the Raptors future. He could create off the bench, no? He fits into trade exception and It's SOMETHING at least, right? Mitch can't sit pat again, can he?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:11 PM)
I think Toronto probably feels they can do better for the expiring Barbosa contract than just a trade exception. Or at least that's how I'd feel if I was them, at this point in the year. But he'd certainly provide some bench scoring, no question.
Any time frame for when steve blake is healthy?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:13 PM)
Garrett: Blake was expected to miss AT LEAST 3-4 weeks on January 14. It's been a little under 2 weeks since the diagnosis. Thus, it'll probably be another couple weeks, but maybe a little longer. Remember, the 3-4 weeks is considered the minimum, not a max or even a guaranteed return time.
matt (Claremont, CA)
I understand how the lack of ballhandlers can hurt an offense, but that deficiency should be worked over by the assistants. You work with what your personnel dictates; no roster is perfect. Am I being too demanding on the coaching staff to get the offense right?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:15 PM)
Yes, I think you are. In the end, this is a league dicatated by talent. Coaches absolutely make a difference, and should be graded on whether or not they put the players they have in the best position to succeed. This group is still working on that, and has to improve, but the flip side is it's hard to really make a lot of progress when you're missing certain components. Remember, some of these problems existed last year, too, and the offense suffered. The Lakers really haven't been a truly high level offensive team for a little while now, in part because even in the triangle they lacked good point guard play and outside shooting, for example. Now they still don't have those things, AND they no longer have any real bench threats or secondary shot creators/ball handlers. It's a tough task these coaches have.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:17 PM)
Hey Garrett-Well, they said 3-4 weeks when it happened initially, and we're approaching the 2 week mark. So hopefully he's back and practicing in the next 10-14 days. But with that injury, it's very difficult to measure. It's important he rests it, otherwise it will just crack again. Plus, there's additional danger because his lung is right underneath. It's not an area you want to mess with.
What other point guards besides D. Williams are out there for the Lakers to possibly acquire? I know there are a few playing in China like Aaron Brooks, but I don't know their status/availability.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:17 PM)
Spankee: From what I understand, a guy like Brooks playing in China will be locked up until March-ish. Obviously, he could be a viable option down the road, but that leaves the Lakers in the lurch for quite some time. And I don't know how many PG's capable of helping are truly available and even if they were, it begs the question, what do the Lakers have to trade them? Guys like Drew and Pau are too valuable to give up for a B-list PG, and the role players aren't easily movable, much less for straight up for an impact player. It's a tough job for Mitch right now.
Kevin (Redondo Beach)
What's your prediction for tonight's game?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:18 PM)
Kevin: Unfortunately, I'm thinking Laker loss, but I'm more than willing to be wrong.
I don't understand why The Lakers don't take a flyer on Arenas. He would be our 4th best player. Morris and Goudelock are both D-League guys, and probably aren't ready to play for a COUPLE of seasons. What's wrong with taking Gil? He could even play some backup SG behind Kobe
Brian Kamenetzky (2:19 PM)
In a vacuum, I agree. He probably can't hurt, but the flip side is that the rest of the league has had an opportunity to pick him up, too, and nobody has. There are serious questions about where he wants to play, how much he wants to do it, and whether he's even any good anymore. There's a lot of baggage that comes with him.
Why do you think the Lakers didnt offer Bynum for Chris Paul, im sure that would have got the deal done and a trio of Gasol,Kobe and Cp3 looks a whole lot better than what we have now
Andy Kamenetzky (2:20 PM)
James: Because if the Lakers want Dwight Howard as well, they'll need Bynum as that chip. You can't trade Drew twice.
Mike (Los Angeles, CA)
Do you think Mike Brown should give MWP's mins to Ebanks? he's more of a spark off the bench and MWP is barley contributing at all.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:22 PM)
Hey Mike-I think for the time being, he should at the very least sit Ebanks in that backup 2 spot, and let him get 10-15 minutes that way. If they feel like they need to do everything humanly possible to get something from MWP, which has some logic, he needs to play at least some. That naturally limits Ebanks' time there. But there's nothing preventing him from playing at the two, short of ball skills... but it's not like the guys he'd play in front of don't have their own flaws.
Jon S (Tucson, AZ)
Is Mitch playing his cards until the Trade Deadline to land either D Williams or Dwight?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:22 PM)
Pretty much, and it's all about Dwight, because D-Will isn't moving until the Nets are sure Howard isn't coming there.
phil (The OC)
If the OKC Thunder win it all this year or next - how will Stern possibly be able spin it? This is a small, no tiny, market team constructed entirely under the old system rules.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:24 PM)
Phil: I imagine he'll move some people into OKC to increase the population.
macrio (Los Angeles)
As constructed, Do you see this Lakers team hitting its stride come playoff time?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:26 PM)
Macrio: It's hard to say without seeing the results of more practice time. The schedule is about to lighten up a bit and offer some more sessions, so I think the new few weeks may offer at least more informed opinion of the team's potential one way or the other.
With the new restrictions in next few years and the league getting better and Lakers getting older, it's pretty bad timing, huh? Do you think we'll be league average for awhile. I do. It's gonna be a long time until we can re-build. I bet Time Warner is kicking itself with that 150 mil a year contract for what's could be a league average team. Oh well, thanks Stern.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:31 PM)
Hey Jose-You're hitting on a HUGE issue, for sure. Basically, the Lakers have to decide if and when they want to blow the whole thing up, because under the new CBA it is going to be very difficult for tax paying teams to construct a roster. It's not really the financial penalties (easy for me to say), but the roster restrictions. A tiny mid-level, no sign and trades, etc. So at some point, probably when Kobe's contract expires, the Lakers will have to do whatever they can to go WAY under the cap one summer, and make a boatload of moves to hopefully reconstruct the roster. Maybe it happens earlier, but then obviously teh Kobe question becomes tougher to answer.
Hey Guys, what about the rumours with devin harris? would he be a good fit for the lakers? (Love reading youre blog)
Brian Kamenetzky (2:32 PM)
Thanks, Afrim. Nice of you to say. Harris would be a nice fit, but getting him is the trick. The Lakers don't have the stuff to make it happen, because he doesn't fit into their trade exception, and the Lakers don't have appealing assets to offer. Gasol is too good to give up for Harris, as is Bynum... so what else is there?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:33 PM)
Hey folks. Gotta run. Thanks for all the good Q's today. Stop by the game chat tonight, the postgame chat on Lakers Late Night, and as always if you have questions, hit us up on Twitter. @espnlandolakers.