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 (1:31 PM)
Hey everyone. Let's get 'er started.
Thoughts on the MWP/Mike Brown comments/exchange?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:34 PM)
Hi Dustin-I think Brown handled it pretty well. MWP's basic complaints about the consistency of the rotation were valid, but he was totally ignoring certain aspects of reality. Like the fact his numbers were awful, and often detrimental to the team. But a couple good games from MWP will smooth things over, and he showed some bounce last night. Who knows, maybe this helps him turn a corner.
skoolpsyk (Juniper Hills, CA)
Hey guys, love the blog. I eat a stick of Land O' Lakes Butter every Wednesday at 10:30. Do you more value in the team practicing over all-star break or taking the extra time off?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:35 PM)
They'll be taking the time off.
Ross (West Hills)
How do you explain the Lakers home record being so much better that their road record. Their bench is the same, their level of athleticism is the same. Confidence makes up for bad p.g. execution?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:35 PM)
Ross: That's an interesting question. This is a veteran team, so they're certainly not likely to be getting rattled on the road. Beyond the fact that teams generally play well at home, I'm wondering if it's a case of more available energy during these games. The second end of back-to-backs have tended to come on the road, which obviously makes things more difficult. Plus, the Lakers' road schedule has been pretty hard in general. They've played some tough teams.
andrew (huntington beach)
Paul, south San Francisco [via mobile]
Any possible scenario where the lakers are able to attain Jose Calderon or Stephen Jackson?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:36 PM)
Hey Paul-I think both are long shots. Jackson isn't a guy they'd likely want on the roster. He wants a contract extension, is never happy, can be combustible, and is getting older. Effectiveness is a big question mark. Regarding Calderon, I'm not sure what the Lakers have the Raptors would want. Maybe they could dangle a couple pics in front of them, but losing those would likely take them out of the DH sweepstakes.
What's up BK/AK! Clippers need a wing defender, Lakers need a point guard.. Who says no first in a Matt Barnes for Eric Bledsoe trade?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:38 PM)
The Clippers. Bledsoe has far more trade value as a young point guard than a haul of Matt Barnes, who is a perfectly serviceable but ultimately average NBA player. And while a solid defender, he's not a true difference-maker.
Jared F. (Mission Viejo)
Who are the LAkers more interested in getting? Deron Williams or Dwight Howard. What would it take to get one of them?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:38 PM)
Hi Jared-I think in a vacuum they'd take D-Will over Howard (they already made one deal for a PG, after all). But unfortunately, I don't think it's going to work out that way. My suspicion is the Nets play things out until the very, very bitter end. They gave up SO MUCH to get Williams that they can't let him go until they know Howard isn't coming there. That means it could last through the deadline. So I think getting Williams before Howard is tough.
Do you think JR's "great talk" with Mike Brown means anything?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:40 PM)
Nima: I'm still trying to verify is that's really J.R. Smith's Twitter account. I never believe it without the check mark. haha
I get the sense the Pau's ups and downs are due to the trade deadline and the uncertainty that he will still be in LA. do you think he and Bynum turn it on after the deadline or is this really it??
Brian Kamenetzky (1:42 PM)
Hey Fernando. I definitely think the constant chatter has an impact, but let's try to keep Gasol's "downs" in perspective. He averaged 19+/14 on the trip, adding 2-3 assists and 1-2 blocks per night. Yes, the FG% was down, but these are very, very good numbers. Last night again, the FG% was down, but you look up at the end of the game and he's got numbers on the board. Do I think he's played as well as he's capable? No. But he's still been very good. As for Bynum, he's also putting up good numbers with limited opportunities down low. I do think the two of them will always struggle a little to spend so much time on the floor together, but the issue to me is more of floor balance, and how often the bigs get their number called. I don't think either needs to turn it on, because neither has turned it off to this point.
briano (temple city, LA)
Gotta love the guts on that GLock. He made some big shots for the bench and our bench finally outscored the opponent's team's bench (Finally!). Do you think Goudelock's success is keeping Gilbert Arena out of a job? And in your opinion who is the better long term solution?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:42 PM)
Briano: I'm guessing Goudelock's production wouldn't ace Arenas out of a job. As well as AG has played, he's a rookie and they tend to hit walls. Plus, defensively, his height and leaves them at a decided disadvantage at times. Plus, this is a team that needs more perimeter play makers and shot creators, regardless of how well Goudelock may play.As for the long term solution, I'd bank more on AG because of his age, but it's way premature to think that far into the future about either.
Jorge (oxnard, CA) [via mobile]
Do you think the mitch kuptchak will make any trades before the deadline?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:45 PM)
Jorge: It's certainly hope he does. And based off his track record with recent midseason moves, I'm guess something will happen, whether big or around the edges. But again, that's just a guess.
Hey guys, we've been hearing about JRsmith coming back to the states today. The lakers have been in the rumor mill about him but don't seem to be getting a lot of attention bc of NY and the clippers. I was just curious, do the lakers not have the same veterans min to give as the clips do? You would think he would want to play for the lakers to get more playing time then he would on the clips.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:45 PM)
They do, Steven, but the Clippers can actually offer their mid-level, not just the vet's minimum. They still have that exception left over for them. So the LAC really can make a better financial offer to Smith. At that point, it's up to JR himself to decide on his priorities.
Are the Lakers similar to the 2009-2010 Celtics who after a dismal regular season went to the finals though they were very good on the road
Brian Kamenetzky (1:46 PM)
Dismal is a little strong, but no, I don't see it. The Lakers are short some major parts. Without improving the mid-level depth of the roster, they don't have the horses to get through three rounds of Western Conference playoff action.
Mike (Ladera Ranch)
Hey Guys- When does the amnesty provision come back into play? They have to use it on MWP next time, right?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:47 PM)
Next fall, they can use it again, and no question, Metta is a prime candidate for the amnesty. Walton won't get it, because by next year he'll be an expiring deal and actually could have a little value in a trade.
A.P. (Texas )
Any chance the Suns take 2 first rounders and some throw ins for Nash?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:48 PM)
A.P.: No. Nash has far more value than just low first round picks and the likes of Walton, Blake, Metta to make the numbers work. Those guys aren't good enough to justify losing all the cap flexibility gained next season when Nash and Hill go. If the Lakers wanted Nash, they'll likely need to move Gasol or Bynum, or involve a third team who'll send Phoenix a big piece.
Any explanation as to why Pau refuses to shoot a face up 12-15 footer over shorter defenders lately? We're forced to watch smaller PF's take him out to 15 ft and do it... why won't he return the favor? Is he being coached away from his traditional elbow game?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:49 PM)
Blake-Well, I think he's still taking plenty of jumpers. I don't worry about that. But he's also trying to get himself into the paint and to the rim more, and opposing defenses aren't letting him have access to that elbow area as easily as they did earlier in the year. They understand how dangerous he is from there. But kudos to you for being the first reader I've ever encountered who wants him taking more jumpers. :)
Matthew Fernandez (Woodland Hills)
Is Steve Nash even an option to the Lakers or is he too old?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:50 PM)
He's not too old. That's not the issue. Phoenix has shown no inclination to move him, and Nash says he doesn't want to go anywhere. That's teh big hold up.
Agent Zero, JR Smith or Andrew Goudelock?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:50 PM)
Jesterguru: Smith, in terms of pure talent. He's by far the best player of the three you named. However, he's also a handful and a headache. Granted, I'd sign in a heartbeat if possible, but you know the deal heading in.
Will Kobe take a page out of Shaq's book rely heavy on teammates and coast until he gets his legs back?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:51 PM)
Kevin: Have you met Kobe Bryant? haha
Jordan (Laguna Niguel)
I know im in the minority but im not ready to split up our front court of pau and Bynum if we can get a point guard without breaking up our big 3. Can we get Ramon sessions or another starting caliber point guard without trading our big 3? Who are some other pg names out there? And do you think that'll be enough?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:52 PM)
Hi Jordan-I think there are definitely people who agree with you regarding LA's Big Three. I believe that trio is good enough to win a title with a better roster behind them. So we probably agree on that. As for Sessions, he could likely be had for something other than Bynum/Gasol, but would probably cost them some of the draft picks they need to chase Howard. That's the basic problem with the Lakers, and their situation. They really don't have many pieces to spare for a short term deal if they want to make the big move for the future. It's a bind.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:52 PM)
Not a prayer.
Phil used to keep one of his "Big 3" out in the game at all times (Kobe, Pau and Lamar). I would like to see Brown do something like that so we do not lose leads that the starters get. MWP and the bench is like a bad slasher pic when on the floor. yikes.
Andy Kamenetzky (1:54 PM)
Fernando: That's pretty much what Mike Brown always does, anyway. Drew is a given to play with the second unit for very larges, and Kobe and Pau inevitably enter the games soon after. Rare if ever are the times where the second unit runs without one of the big three.
Pamela (San Gabriel,CA)
Hey Kamenetzky Brothers,You both do a great covering the Lakers.Your wives if either of you have a wife are lucky since you both have so much insight regarding the Lakers.Keep up the good job fellas.
Andy Kamenetzky (1:54 PM)
Pamela: Thanks for nice words. We'll be sure to remind our wives how lucky they are to have met us. haha
robdog (bay area)
greeting guys,rumor here is steph and lee for pau and pieces.whats more realistic this trade or the rondo trade in ur opinion?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:56 PM)
Neither sounds particularly likely, I have to say. But of the two, in theory I like the GSW package, because Curry gives them a high end PG who can shoot, and Lee is a very good player (though limited defensively (and by limited, I mean he's awful), and overpaid). It's a lot of salary for the Lakers to take on, once you factor in that Curry is going to need to be paid. And those ankle problems are scary. But like I said, I'm not expecting either.
Your thoughts on Fish? His numbers couldn't be worse... props to mike brown for giving him under 20 minutes last night
AK/BK: why can't i get jeremy lin off my mind? all i do is tweet about him. have i finally lost it?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:57 PM)
"Finally" lost it MWP? "Finally?"
Brian Kamenetzky (1:57 PM)
Fisher plays like you would expect a 37 year old who has been declining for a while now to play. I don't think the defensive end is great, but it's on the other side where he really hurts them. He can't break teams down at all on the dribble, because even if he manages to penetrate a little, he's not a good interior passer or finisher at the rim.His main value comes in hitting open jumpers, and he's not doing that, either.
Steve K (Columbia, SC)
Everyone's talking about JR Smith but what about Wilson Chandler or Aaron Brooks? I know both are restricted FAs but why not use the trade exception etc for either one?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:59 PM)
Steve-That's not going to get it done. Chandler wants to go back to Denver, and the Nuggets want him. So they're not going to engineer some sort of sign and trade built around a TPE. Nor Phoenix with Brooks. Those guys have far too much value for that.
What are the odds we see a Hallway Series (LAL vs. LAC) this playoffs?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:59 PM)
Hey Alex-Pretty good,I think. The idea the Lakers could be a 6 and the Clips a 3 isn't at all far fetched.
What % chance do you give to Pau and Bynum being lakers after trade deadline?
Zach W. (New York)
No one has really talked about a Pau Gasol for Stephen Curry trade, but that could really help both teams, the Lakers get their point guard and the warriors would have a really nice starting lineup with Ellis,Thompson,Wright,Lee, and Gasol.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:00 PM)
Zach: The Warriors aren't close enough to being a playoff force to surrender a young player like Curry, still far from his prime, for a player like Pau who's almost out of his. Pau wouldn't make the Warriors a true contender, so it's not worth it for the Dubs.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:00 PM)
High on both. Over 50 percent. Well over, even.
Coming in the Summer of 2014... One man... One team... One Town... AMNESTIED! The tale of a city once shackled by an albatross contract...finally set free!
why am i telling dwight it would be a travesty to leave orlando when i did the same thing
Andy Kamenetzky (2:02 PM)
Shaq: Because you're not concerned about sounding ridiculous.
James (Thousand Oaks)
Is Kobe's wrist acting up? Knees? Fingers? Is he feeling sick? Upset that the Patriots lost? He just hasn't looked right since the road trip started. I'm looking for an excuse!
Brian Kamenetzky (2:04 PM)
Hey James-I think wear has something to do with it. He's second in the league behind 23 year old Kevin Love for minutes played, and leads the league in usage by a mile. It's not a good development. Plus, teams are adjusting to how the Lakers have been getting him the ball, and I think are defending him better. Fixing it is a problem, though, because the Lakers have major skill set holes, meaning often Bryant is the only guy available to create shots, whether for himself or others. It's something the coaching staff has to figure out.
Who or how do you see the lakers using the 8.9 million TPE
Andrew (huntington beach)
if the lakers were to get a point guard like ramon sessions, whos minutes do you think he will take; Fisher or Blake's
Andy Kamenetzky (2:06 PM)
Andrew: Interesting question. In reality, Sessions would eat into both of their minutes, but it would depend, to some degree, on whether Brown wanted to take Goudelock out of the rotation. Blake can play the two alongside Sessions, and is a better play-maker than Goudelock, but Goudelock is the better scorer. Thus, the answer rests a lot with Mini-Mamba.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:08 PM)
Jeff, I honestly have no idea. When they acquired it, I (like many) assumed they had a destination in mind, and a player they thought they'd bring back. Mitch shut that one down pretty quick, though. So I don't know exactly who they fit in there (some guys, like Devin Harris or Calderon make too much money) and others probably can't be had just for a TPE. I realize they did it for "flexibility," or so they said, but if they really wanted flexibility they should have held on to Odom the actual person.
is adding dwight howard and getting rid of bynum really helping us that much? i would love to see the lakers to trade for sessions who tore up competition in kyrie irvings absence..whats your take?
Doesn't McRob have some kind of value on the open market? He was showcased nicely in the first few weeks and his contract is a good one...
Andy Kamenetzky (2:09 PM)
Roy: McRoberts may have some trade value, although his contract ($3.1 mil) isn't necessarily big enough to swap straight up for an impact player. Still, that's a cap friendly number, so it certainly doesn't make moving McRoberts tough in a vacuum. Either way, he can't get moved until March 1 by league rules, anyway.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:09 PM)
Eddie-I think Sessions would be a major upgrade, despite defensive questions and weak outside shooting. I'm sure the Lakers agree, too, but wanting him and getting him are two different things. Again, it's a question of how they use their assets. If they go short term, maybe you fold a pick or two in for Sessions, but then you don't have nearly as much to offer in a deal around Howard. The Lakers are in a bind, no question. It's a tough needle they're attempting to thread.
Just heard Max & Marcel say something about Kobe's wife being at the game last night. If true, do you know why she was there, besides trying to distract Kobe?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:09 PM)
She was there, but I have no idea why.
Why does Brown need 27 assistants? Do you think having all these different guys talking to the players contributes to their apparant confusion?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:13 PM)
Kurt: I don't think Brown's large staff creates confusion, but I did get a laugh picturing someone like MWP getting 7 different sets of instructions, which ultimately results in a panicked, ill-advised 3-pointer.
Stanislav (Dubna, Russia)
Hi, guys! Hello from cold Russia! I love your blog! Good job!I have a question about Pau Gasol.What do you think about his game? Will his game be at a high level as in the 2009 or 2010?Of course, Pau will not shine in the defense, it was never his forte.But I noticed that Gasol show us full set of offensive skills only when something really motivates him, like in home game against Clippers. In other games his set of skills looks poor. Yes, his jump shots, layups and rebounds are very effective. But we know that he can do amazing moves in the paint. But in this season, as I noticed, he uses his great skills rarely.What is the reason? Is this psychological problem (relationship with Kobe, breakup with a ex-girlfriend, whatever...)? Maybe this happens, because he already is not young player?Is it end of 'Gasol era'? Or can he show his best game again?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:15 PM)
Stanislav! Thanks for checking in. The biggest issue with Pau is that he's being asked to make very big changes in his game. With Bynum back and playing bigger minutes with more responsibility, Gasol is moved away from the post far more often. That's a function of the system and changes in personnel. He's also being used to grease the wheels on offense differently, which again can move him from the basket. And I'm not sure how often they really call plays for him.But keep in mind, there aren't a lot of guys in the league averaging 17/10.6. This month, he's at almost 19/14. Plus 3 assists and over 1.5 blocks. That's very good production. So while he hasn't been as efficient as I'd like and could be better, it's important not to go overboard.
sarah (santa monica)
oj mayo for McRob?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:16 PM)
Sarah: The Lakers would need to throw in someone else to make the money match, but it would be funny if Memphis finally got that deal to happen.
Has anyone done the national anthem better than Whitney?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:18 PM)
Terrence: Well, 710 ESPN's Steve Mason, of course. But otherwise, nobody.
SK (Decatur GA)
Why didnt the Lakers use the amensity on Luke Walton? And am I the only person who thinks Gilbert Arenas would be an no brainer upgrade over Fisher and Blake??
Andy Kamenetzky (2:21 PM)
SK: I thought Walton would get the Amnesty if the provision was for this season only. But considering it can be stretched, it makes more sense to hold off. Luke's contract expires next season anyway, and could actually be moved in a potential deal. Plus, the Lakers are well over the cap even with Walton amnestied, so it doesn't really help them improve the roster. And they're paying him anyway. So the benefits are minimal. Might as well save it for a longer/bigger money deal.
Do you think it's a possibility that the "anonymous Laker" criticizing Metta World Peace is Ron Artest himself?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:25 PM)
Never: Interesting theory. It's like MWP is using "Ron Artest" as a "Tyler Durden" of sorts. If MWP starts talking one day about his soap-making business, we'll know you're onto something.
If we get Glibert, can we send him to Germany to get his knees back like Kobe and have him ready in time for the playoffs? haha
Andy Kamenetzky (2:29 PM)
Ray: Actually, Gilbert has that procedure not just on both knees, but both hips as well. He's more German engineered than a BMW.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:29 PM)
Alrighty folks. Gotta run. But thanks for dropping by. Much appreciated.