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!
Brian Kamenetzky (1:31 PM)
Hey everyone. Thanks for stopping by. We'll be here for the next hour or so and will try to answer all of your questions. Let's get rolling!
Lawrence (Toronto, Canada)
It's quite a ways away, but what's the likeliness of Sessions in a Lakers jersey come next year?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:33 PM)
Hi Lawrence. Thanks for the question. Sessions has said he'll opt out of the last year of his deal, but wants very much to remain in L.A. So the Lakers will have the inside track in keeping him. Moreover, this was a possibility they absolutely had to see coming, and I know they made the trade with the idea Sessions would be around for a while. The big issue is cost. Money the Lakers commit to Sessions will likely have to mean savings somewhere else. What that means is tough to say.
What's good, K. Bros.! Taking into consideration the last two games against the Spurs, how do you see the Lakers matching up with them in the playoffs should they meet and what do you think the series result would be? Thanks!
Brian Kamenetzky (1:36 PM)
Hey Bozz. I think it would be a very, very tough series. On the one hand, the Lakers do have considerable size inside that could be problematic for the Spurs. How they match up with Kobe is also a question, simply because we haven't seen it yet. But they do have some guys around (Jax, Leonard, etc.) to throw at him. Meanwhile, the Spurs come at you in waves, are a very, very good offensive team and should improve defensively in the playoffs. I'd say its a six or seven game series at least. Not sure yet who I'd pick to win.
Hey Kamenetzky bros, enjoy your chats. What do you think about in last few games Kobe playing role of assistant coach and drawing plays for lakers ? Do you think in future Kobe can be a good coach?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:37 PM)
Thanks for checking in from India!I think there's no question Kobe has the basketball knowledge and IQ to be a head coach. What he lacks is the patience. There's just no way I can see him not only wanting to put himself through that grind, but also being able to take the sort of long view a coach would need. It would be tough for him to deal with the shortcomings of his players, and so on.It's something he's said he won't ever do, so I wouldn't look for it.
Mike (Ladera Ranch)
I heard you guys say on the radio a couple of weeks ago that you think that Gasol will be traded this summer. Now that we have Sessions on board, who or what need would they target in return?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:40 PM)
Hi Mike. Honestly, I'm not sure. Younger players, for sure. I would think, too, they would try to use Gasol as a means to add depth to the roster, as well. But the return could be anything. Maybe it's a SF if they decide ultimately to amnesty Metta World Peace. Maybe they just try to get younger at PF, and find a different piece to put next to Bynum. Or they could go for much needed wing scoring. There are options. As a reminder, I don't know for sure it's going to happen, it's just my feeling. Much more about finances than anything reflecting Gasol's performance. A lot has to do with how they finish this postseason, too.
I know this is a little early but headed into next do you think mike brown will experiment with gasol coming off the bench as a sixth man? I just do think he's been properly used in the starting line-up. Assuming that we can find a replacement for his production on the cheap(camby or j.j Hickson). Do you think that a good idea? I think that move or moves would help our bench headed into next season.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:41 PM)
Hi David-Not a big fan. I understand what you're getting at, but Gasol already plays with the bench a fair amount. He's a guy who needs to be playing big minutes, and will if he's still on the roster.
Why is your chat in the ESPN NY?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:42 PM)
Honestly, I saw that too, and was a little confused. I'm sure it's just a mix up with backgrounds. Unless we're getting transferred to Land O'Knicks?
Brian (Bridgewater, MA)
Does Andrew Bynum deserve to be considered for first team All NBA this year?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:43 PM)
Absolutely. Particularly with Howard now on the shelf. Given everything that's gone on with DH this year, his performance has absolutely suffered. Bynum has been great, and the argument can absolutely be made he should be first team. It's a conversation that should happen.
Do we take last nights loss with a grain of salt, or is there real concern that the lakers could not beat the spurs in a series?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:45 PM)
There is real concern the Lakers could not beat the Spurs in a series... but there was that concern before, too, even with last week's result. Until there's really clear evidence one team has a big matchup advantage that might negate the relative strength in their records, it's smart to assume a team that has won as much as SAS is really, really good. They've been a better team than the Lakers this year. They have star power, depth, great coaching, etc. There's nothing indicating they'd be anything but very, very tough to beat.
when will kobe return do you think the lakers can hold off the clippers to win the pacific this year.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:47 PM)
First part first: I think Kobe will play no earlier than Sunday, and perhaps only in the season finale vs. Sacto. Not basing that on medical insight, just my feeling. As for the LAC, the Lakers have what amounts to a 1 game lead, and a slightly easier schedule. The Clippers still play four of five on the road, against, teams with stuff to play for, like Denver tonight, Phoenix, Atlanta, and New York. Not an easy road. The Lakers have two very tough games (SAS/OKC) but two relative gimmies, as well in GSW tonight and Sacramento next week. I'll give the Lakers the edge to hold on to the Pacific.
Larry (Meaford, Canada)
Its far from it, but will the Lakers ever be in a rebuilding stage?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:50 PM)
Yes. How long that stage lasts, it's hard to say, but at some point the new CBA basically requires the Lakers to shave off some payroll and get under the luxury tax. Otherwise, they'll run into some crushing repeater tax issues. Beyond that, the new rules make it very difficult to rebuild a roster without stripping it down, because tax teams are not given the same tools (no full midlevel, can't do sign and trades, etc)So the rebuild is coming. When? Not sure. How bad will it be? Don't know. But it's coming.
Last nights loss to the spurs was bad but at least to me it was not concerning....provided the Lakerswin in golden state and Sacramento and keep their 3rd seed does a loss to a hungry red hot shooting team without Kobe really horrible?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:52 PM)
Nope. They have the best record in the Western Conference. No shame in losing to them. The Lakers got really, really sloppy for about three minutes in the second quarter, and the Spurs absolutely punished them for it. After that, the game was functionally over. Don't read too much into the score. (Don't read too much into LA's win last week, though, either.)
How far do you think the lakers will go in the playoffs and what are there chances of winning a title this year?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:54 PM)
Hi Val.I'd say the chances of winning it all are still relatively low, but with Sessions in the fold if Metta and Blake can stay consistent and productive and Barnes plays at the level he has through most of the season, they have a chance. They have a real shot at the Conference Finals, I think, though that second round will be very, very tough whether it means SA or OKC. Getting past the second round would be a good achievement, even if it's not the goal.
Hello K bros, thanks for the great LAL coverage. If Gasol is traded in the near future, with everything he provides the team, do you think the Lakers remain an upper level contender? Also, who would you like to see replace Gasol in the line up if the move has to be made?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:56 PM)
Well, it depends on what they get in return. Depending on the talent coming back, sure they can remain elite. Nobody is irreplaceable. That said, should Gasol be moved, I think many people who think he's soft or doesn't provide value will learn just how good he really is, and how much better he allows the Lakers to operate even when he's not the beneficiary statistically speaking. The guys is enormously talented, and the Lakers would have to get a very good return in order not to slip should they trade him.
Zach (New York)
Is Ramon Sessions that bad on defense or is Tony Parker that good?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:57 PM)
K Bros, we are now tied with the Clips for the division lead. Odds we are able to win the division, and how important is that for us heading into the playoffs?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:59 PM)
Hey Lex. Since LAL owns the tiebreaker, they still have what amounts to a one game lead. Not much of a cushion, but it's something. And it's very important they keep it, because the four seed means a first round date with Memphis... which they don't want.
Who do you think the Lakers will target in the second round of the NBA draft? Thanks.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:00 PM)
Sal, I'll be honest: I have absolutely no idea. I think they'll go with the best available players, though, as opposed to looking at need. So much depends on what they do between now and the draft, as well. Who is still on the roster, what FA's they target, and so on.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:00 PM)
OK folks, Andy is here to take over, and guide you to the end of the hour. Thanks for the Q's!
Having Kobe back won't change what Tony did last. How do the Lakers stop Parker in the playoffs?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:05 PM)
Web: Well, to some degree, Kobe being back could help against Parker, in that he's another look to throw at TP defensively, and certainly a better one than Sessions. And when he's hot, Kobe could match Parker shot for shot. But you're right, it'll be more about adjustments than Kobe's presence. I would like to see the Lakers try to force the ball out of Parker's hands more in the third game, and during the playoffs, should they meet up. It'll also help if Sessions attacks Parker and forces him to perhaps pick up fouls. Parker will be far less effective if he's in foul trouble. And honestly, there will be games where Parker goes off. He's among the best players in the league, and that's what stars do. The key in those games is to make sure everyone else doesn't go crazy, too.
Joe (South bay)
Will Lamar Odom be in a Laker next year?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:08 PM)
Joe: I think there's a chance, if the price is right. (In other words, "low.") For a veteran's minimum, LO would be a steal off the bench and backing up several positions. By definition, it's basically impossible for Odom to play worse next season, and if he's somewhere between the 6MOY version and the Dallas version, he could help the Lakers.
I know they got crushed last night, but winning in San Antonio by a lot without Kobe was a statement game, no?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:08 PM)
Alex: It remains a huge win, even taking into account what happened last night.
Is it safe to say kobe will be back on Friday?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:11 PM)
Ammon: Not necessarily. I would be surprised if Kobe's not back by Sunday's game against OKC. That would give him two games before the playoffs to rediscover his rhythm, and he'll have three days between that game and Sacto on Thursday. But I wouldn't be shocked if Kobe missed the Spurs game. If Kobe's sat this long, it defeats the purpose to come back too early.
I don't want Kobe back on Friday. Why give the Spurs any first-hand look at him before a potential playoff match-up.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:16 PM)
Heath: That's an interesting approach, although there's two sides to the coin. On one hand, the Spurs have never played against Kobe under Mike Brown, so they'd be limited beyond film in terms of how to defend him. There's nothing that prepares a team like an actual game. On the other hand, the Spurs are nonetheless pretty familiar with Kobe, and in the meantime, the Lakers lose the chance to practice what they'd do with Kobe against the Spurs. So it cuts both ways. Ultimately, Kobe's return should be dictated by his health, not strategy. But I get where you're coming from.
Will Davis (Stamford)
Locked out season makes anything possible right? Deep down my heart tells me Lakers-Celtics III.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:20 PM)
Will Davis: I don't blame you. If a Lakers-Celtics Finals doesn't happen this year, it may not happen again for a while.
Did the Mini Mamba make fun of Mike Brown or something? How does Ebanks who has done nothing forever get the starting spot over Guadalock, who correct me if I'm wrong actaully played pretty darn well when given the chance?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:26 PM)
Lex: Well, it's important to remember Devin actually began the season as a starter and while the sample size was small, he wasn't bad. And since taking over for Kobe, he's been pretty solid. Nothing spectacular, but that's really all they want from him. Plus, Ebanks has much better size, which helps out defensively and with rebounding. I like Goudelock and wouldn't mind seeing him play more, but he's not an ideal starter, particularly on the defensive end.
I came away from last night thinking that San Antonio will be a tougher match-up than OKC, something I wouldn't have said before. At least with the Thunder you only have to stop three guys. The Spurs have so much firepower. Between Parker's ability to beat guys off the dribble and their spot-up shooters, you're merely picking your poison.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:27 PM)
Heath: At the end of the day, both teams will be tough outs. There's really no way around it.
does espn force you guys to put makeup on when you do lakers late night or the forum like john ireland?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:28 PM)
John: Nope. We're just that naturally good looking.
If you can resurrect a retired player in a hologram and see them i the court, who would it be?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:28 PM)
Never: Probably Wilt. To see the force he was "live" would be pretty amazing. Plus, I hear he used to do a killer rendition of "Dear Mama," so there's that.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:29 PM)
And on that note, thanks to everyone for dropping by. Be sure to check out Lakers Late Night after the Golden State game. As always, the chat can be found on the blog.