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February 15, 1:30 PM ET
Chat with the Kamenetzky Brothers

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:32 PM)

Morning everyone. Thanks for rolling with our little schedule change. We're here for the next hour to answer all of your Lakers/NBA related questions... fire away.

Sam (Los Angeles)

Hello - how can we get Prince? do you hear trades coming for Lakers?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:35 PM)

Well, Sam, if I learned anything from that Chapelle sketch, it's that Prince (along with the Revolution) have serious game. Yes, he's undersized, even for the point, but the skills are clearly there, and if anyone can get up and down the floor in platform shoes, it's him. As for Tayshaun, I just don't see it happening. When you look at his salary (over 11 mil) the Lakers really don't have the components to make a viable offer. Not anything Detroit would want, at least.

Worried Fan (UCR)

when should fans cease using complacency as an excuse and accept the fact there is something wrong with this team??

clint (cali)

shannon brown continues to break the offense, searching for his own shot or trying to create his own shot and often fails at it. why does he get such a long leash? sasha or farmar would have been pulled after the first shot? is it due to lack of depth?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:37 PM)

Hey Worried-It should have happened a while ago. The Lakers have problems on the perimeter with outside shooting, and aren't really getting consistent production from the bench anymore. Blake has been a disappointment, no question. Brown has cooled considerably, etc. They need Barnes back. Those are just a couple of the problems. Good news, though, is that all teams are in one way or another flawed, and the problems they have now are similar to what they had last year. Meaning they can be overcome. Can't say for sure they will, just that they can.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:37 PM)

Clint: You're correct about Shannon breaking the offense, whether due to the shots called for himself or excessive dribbling. You're also correct that Sasha would have gotten yanked much earlier. For that matter, the lack of depth you cited also plays a role, particularly with Barnes out. Unless you're gonna play Kobe nearly non-stop, or run long stretches with an undersized Blake-Fisher backcourt (which PJ has closed with), there aren't a ton of options. Last season, Shannon had his bouts with these issues, but I always got the sense the coaching staff rolled with it in part because he was new and in part because these are the growing pains of a young player they clearly felt was worth committing towards. This season, not sure if they have another choice.

michael (las vegas)

i think its time the lakers trade artest n bynum 4 carmelo and nene

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:37 PM)

No way Denver takes on Artest.

Sean (Covina)

Please explain to me how this year bench is better than last. I know Barnes being gone is a huge blow, but Walton, Blake and Brown are frankly not playing well or consistent. I see no improvement over the past bench mob. Your thougts.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:40 PM)

Sean, It's a better bench on paper, if nothing else. Blake is an upgrade over Farmar in running a second unit and on his worst day, a wash defensively. But he's struggling with his shot, which offsets some issues. Shannon started the year strong, but has faded. And Walton is only playing because of Barnes' injury, which robs the bench crew of their best player other than LO. Thus, it's a theoretically improved group, but now is a tough time to judge them. They looked much better with Barnes on hand.

Kevin (Los Angeles)

Seriously... we need to do something to change up the roster guys. Not necessarily Bynum for Melo but something on a smaller scale. Artest and Brown and Ebanks or Caracter for Stephan Jackson? They get a solid contributor in Brown and young talent in Ebanks and Caracter. We need to win now!

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:40 PM)

Hi Kevin-Word is Charlotte already turned down Artest, and I don't blame them. You get an aging player in a market where he doesn't want to be, and a guy with character questions still hanging over him. Yes, Jax has that to, but he's a more productive player at this point than Ron. I do agree, though, that it wouldn't hurt to find some additional depth for the team. Ironically, what they could use is a wing scorer capable of creating his own shot. Obviously Melo qualifies, but that deal doesn't seem like it's happening. And obviously they do lose a lot in the middle if Bynum goes. Something around the margins would be nice, though.

Travis (Glendale)

One thing the Lakers lack is penetration on offense. How can they solve this problem?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:42 PM)

Hey Travis-One thing that will help is better perimeter shooting. Force teams to honor the shots from outside, and more space opens up to penetrate and cut. But the Lakers will always be a team that penetrates more effectively off the pass and cut than the dribble, which is fine. They don't have a lot of guys who effectively create off the dribble, but are stacked with players who move the ball well. But for that to happen, a) players have to move more, and b) they need to do themselves a few favors by knocking down a shot or two.

Brian (NC)

Why is it that when the Lakers seem to be destined for a loss, they foul ridiculously and seem to "not care" about sportsmanship? Almost like they are little spoiled babies. Seems like Odom and Kobe are the worst for this stuff. Sore losers?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:42 PM)

Brian: This team has always had a penchant for complaining. They fall into rather easily, often taking (in my humble estimation) cues from Kobe, who rides the refs like a red-headed mule. While I doubt they're completely unique in this sense (the Celtics come to mind as another group of excessive yappers), it's a bad habit for the Lakers. They simply need to become better at not getting taken out of games because they don't like the calls.

Jason (MT)

How about the Lakers looking at a deal with Golden State? Possible getting steph curry or monta ellis? Either would help take the scoring load off Kobe and give us someone to help cover the speedy point guards.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:43 PM)

Sure, but what do you give up? Ellis isn't a great fit- HUGE volume in shots- but I love Curry. But what goes to the GSWs?

Jay (Santa Monica)

Purely for shoots and giggles, do you think the Lakers would be a better team had that rumored trade of Gerald Wallace for Ron Ron gone through? Better on offense, worse on defense? PS - still not remotely worried

Kirk Hinrik (DC)

K Bros, are the Lakers going to finally bust me outta here?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:45 PM)

Kirk Hinrich: I doubt it. Sorry.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:45 PM)

Hi Jay-I don't think there's any question. Wallace is a more productive all around player at this point in their careers. Adds some speed to LA's lineup, as well. I think it's too good a deal for the Lakers... which explains why it won't happen. Good for you for keeping the faith. The Lakers are still a highly credible championship contender, though I do think they've hurt themselves by almost guaranteeing heaps more road games this playoff season.

Mike (Westlake)

I'm a diehard Laker fan and although I want teams to take our bad players and give us solid contributors in return I seriously don't see that happening. We don't have anyone of value to give up other then Bynum and Odom and Pau but we can't give those guys up. It looks like it's ride or die this season with this roster? Agreed Kam Bros?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:47 PM)

Mike: I would agree. You're not gonna get Melo (a hypothetical) for Ron Artest, Walton, Caracter, Ratliff, and cash (another hypothetical, not even sure it's street legal). To get something good, you gotta give. And without the requisite large expiring deal which sometimes prompts lopsided talent deals, the Lakers would need to pony up.

Lady Gaga (Nirvana)

Since I'm not the only one that "layed an egg" on this Grammy Trip, what are the chances something happens to the roster in light of the Lakers new 3 Billion dollar TV deal?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:48 PM)

Does typing with prosthetic horns on the shoulders make it easier or harder?I think "laying an egg" is a little harsh (though funny)- with a win Wednesday night the Lakers finish 5-2 on the trip. That's pretty good, considering the quality of competition. As for the TV deal, they won't get the impact of that for a couple years, but I am absolutely interested to find out more about it. How it will impact their bottom line, transform revenue streams, etc. I don't know how much it's worth, but am fully confident it's a boatload of scratch.

Apogeal (Los Angeles)

I've seen research that shows that the Lakers, and other 3-peat potential teams that both won and lost shared the same difficulties, and records at this point in the season. The difference, Phil Jackson's teams pulled it off. Is this 'Last Stand' thingy wearing the guys out?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:50 PM)

Apogeal: I can't say with absolute certainty having not asked players, but I'm guessing that's not the case. If anything, the "last stand" aspect doesn't appear to be motivating/inspiring/focusing them enough. More in play, I suspect, is just the physical and (especially) mental drain that comes with playing so much basketball over four straight years, with everyone gunning for you. Plus, I really do think they miss Barnes. His absence is felt on both sides of the ball, and in the way it forces Phil's options.

Denzel Washington (LA)

You think you can ignore my question ?? You think you can do that to me ??? You two will be covering beach volleyball for fat old dudes in Florida when I get finished with you ! ( JK..the bit is a work in progress..much love KBros !)

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:52 PM)

Denzel: King Kong ain't got $#%$ on the K Bros!!! (Correct Denzel movie, right? "Training Day?")

Rob L. (los angeles)

why didn't phil play bynum in the second half of the bobcats game?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:54 PM)

Rob L: Dunno for sure, since we weren't in Charlotte and PJ took no questions after the game. No clue if it was a matchup thing, PJ not liking Drew's effort, etc. But for what it's worth, Bynum was apparently wondering the same thing.

Brian (Mission Viejo)

Salary aside, do the Lakers miss Sasha. They really need an outside shooter and Brown and Blake aren't doing it. Any chance of picking up a shooter like Dallas did with Peja.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:57 PM)

Brian: It's hard to say they really "miss" Sasha, in that he was completely out of the rotation and hasn't been terribly reliable as a shooter since his bust out season in 2008. Maybe PJ would have reconsidered giving him more run if he were still around, but he might still be sitting on the bench either way. I think the team needs a shooter more than they miss Sasha, if that makes sense. Two separate issues. As for the second question, not sure. I don't really know who's available, much less realistic.

Julian (PDX)

Why won't LA just do the Melo/Bynum deal?...Bynum is just as injury prone as Oden

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:01 PM)

Julian: I hear what you're saying, and the injury issue is the biggest reason to pull the trigger. But Drew, when available, makes the Lakers extremely tough to contend with for most teams. Plus, if you still think this team can win it all, I wouldn't make the deal. Such a big change would make it almost impossible to readjust in time to threepeat, in my opinion. Thus, if you're still confident about a title chase, you have to ride with Drew. It's a very tough predicament.

Philbert (San Francisco)

Is there any logical reason for Blake's disappointing (so far) performance?Also, how long before Barnes gets re-integrated into the rotation. Will he have enough time to get back in the flow before the playoffs?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:04 PM)

Philbert- I wish I knew. Especially since I pumped up his arrival so much. I thought he'd fit better, be a more impactful part of the offense, help spread the floor, and so on. It just hasn't happened. I think he's still a little gun shy- getting him to shoot is not always easy. Regarding Barnes, I don't think it'll take that long, particularly since his strengths- cutting, crashing the glass- are not really based on having the ball in his hands.

Joel (Thousand Oaks)

I know us Laker fans like to jump from one extreme to another - "we're the best team ever" one day, "the sky is falling, trade everyone" the next. Personally, I think the Lakers as currently assembled are still the team to beat in the playoffs. The only team I think home court advantage is important against is the Celtics. Against anyone else (except maybe Charlotte), the Lakers won't have any tougher time on the road than at home. What are your thoughts on this?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:04 PM)

Joel: I basically agree with that, assuming the Lakers are playing at the top of their game. I don't even mind playing a series or two on the road, because I think this team is mentally built for it. But on the flip side, if they don't find some steady cohesion PDQ, I don't care if they play every game at Staples. It won't be a successful postseason.

Jon (LBC)

End of 1st quarter last night, did you see Shannon Brown cheat so far off his man at the 3, that he basically sandwiched Kwame Brown with Andrew Bynum? Did someone joke around with Shannon and tell him Kwame was a major low post threat without the ball?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:05 PM)

Jon, they make heaps of odd choices on when to double in the post. That's just one.

JQ (LA)

Hey guys,How about trading...j/k.What do you guys think is the problem with this team in getting the ball into Pau and Bynum. Is it just lack of execution. Sometimes I see them looking right at Pau and Bynum and they still can't seem to dump the pass off. Fisher is terrible at it. Why the glitch?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:07 PM)

JQ: I think the problem is often not being patient enough to find a quality entry pass. They'll try to force feed as opposed to swinging the ball for a better angle. Maybe I'm wrong, but this is a team of talented passers, so the skill set itself isn't a problem.

AmitK (New Delhi)

Hey KBros ! I want to know how likely do you think is the scenario of the C's pummeling Pau into submission ( in case they meet in again in the Finals ) with the physicality of Perkins/Baby/the O' Neals ( assuming they are healthy )..we don't really have a backup center...so chances of a three peat without look pretty slim if Drew were to somehow get worse and not be able to play...this time around..I think even a hobbled Drew might not be enough... Thanks !

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:09 PM)

Amit-I think if Bynum is in the lineup and healthy, they're fine. Pau won't have to absorb as much punishment directly in the post, and he'll do what he did last year, which was often quite positive against a strong defensive team. If Bynum isn't healthy... well, the Lakers have big problems. At that point, the lack of depth really becomes a serious problem, against Boston or anyone else, really.

Jonyen (st louis)

What will it take for the Grizzlies to part with OJ Mayo to the Lakers?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:11 PM)

Jonyen: The desire to lose Mayo's salary. If they traded him for nothing (the Lakers could take him with their trade exception), they're off the hook for the dough, and can use the savings towards resigning Marc Gasol and maybe even Zebo.

David (Los angeles)

Why keep Bynum if we never play him in the 4th quarter. Can we trade him for melo and Put full effort into signing Dwight Howard to replace Bynum?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:12 PM)

David-It's a good question, but it's because having the ability to always put two highly skilled seven footers on the floor at once is a massive advantage for the team (no pun intended). And obviously they have the ability to put Drew on the floor if they'd like.But you're getting to one of the stronger debate points about Bynum's future. If they can find another big do add some depth behind Gasol, would they lose that much by adding another wing? Or a better PG?

Vic (L.A, CA)

Question: is it time to panic if the Lakers fall to the Cavaliers?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:12 PM)

Vic: Panic? No, because they're so much better than the Cavs you can't even take anything tangible from a theoretical loss. Vomit? Absolutely, for the exact same reasons I wouldn't panic.

Chris (Studio City)

Andy and Brian: Watching Ron-Ron cut it up with John Ireland was funny, but I'm sure Kobe wasn't laughing with me. Question is, does Ron (or any other veteran Laker, for that matter) even care about P--ssing off Kobe anymore?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:17 PM)

Chris: That's a very interesting question, actually. My gut says yes, because he's the leader and everyone knows how absurdly intense and moody he can get while unhappy. Plus, it sometimes bleeds onto the court, which equals getting frozen out. But I can't imagine Ron was terribly concerned about Kobe's reaction while playing around with LO's fragrance (which I assume you're referring to). For that matter, the players I talked to seemed more annoyed when Kobe vowed to tear them up in practice post-Christmas than fearful. So who knows?

Jay (Santa Monica)

I find it interesting Kobe made several buzzer beaters and the Lakers stole some wins. This year, it hasn't happened. We would of had the same conversation last year had those games gone the other way. I still think its all about staying healthy...

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:17 PM)

Jay-It's fun to think about where the Lakers would have been had Kobe missed a few of those. The standings and playoff draw could have been a lot different. This season, there haven't been as many opportunities for him, or anyone else, really to play hero, since the Lakers haven't played all that many close games one way or the other (only five all season decided by five points or less). But your right- lost in a lot of the (deserved) hype over Kobe's last second production last year was how it papered over some o the team's flaws. That's why by the sixth or seventh one, Kobe wasn't all that entertained anymore.

Jay (Santa Monica)

I don't think OJ Mayo is the answer... would he back up Kobe? Is he that much better than Shannon?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:20 PM)

Jay: Yeah, Mayo would back up Kobe and yeah, he's a better player than Shannon. His skill set is better rounded offensively and from what I've seen on the other side of the ball, it's essentially a wash. Shannon is a more spectacular athlete, but I think Mayo is the better overall player.

Evan (NYC)

AK/BK...Artest doesn't relish having a very limited role in the offense...although he says otherwise...it is clear he isn't comfortable with having to be little more than a spot up shooter...partly because Kobe has gotta have his share..( or so his brother says ) ...but I am not sure adjusting things to accommodate him for a more prominent role would do more good than harm...the guy can't finish inside for the life of him....can't create for himself...is a spotty shooter...( OK with 3pt shots...not consistent)...Do you think improving his contribution on the offensive end is vital or will solid D be quite enough ?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:20 PM)

Hey Evan-They've been working I think to get him into the post a little more frequently (sometimes with success, other times... not). I agree they need to move him around a little more, and if nothing else create the illusion he's more important in the offense. He doesn't have to be outstanding offensively for the Lakers to succeed, as long as he's someone the other team has to cover, or can burn them with some consistency if they decide not to. This is assuming he's making a very strong impact defensively. If he falls off on that side of the floor, then the O becomes a bigger problem.

Tony (Merced CA,)

Have you ever played monopoly and got soo annoyed at the guy who has been in the lead the whole game and is acting all cocky that you traded or sold all your stuff to the guy in second just so the smug guy would not win? Maybe Denver takes Artest with Bynum for Nene and Melo just to stick it to New York??

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:22 PM)

Tony: While I don't see that happening -- depending on what Denver can squeeze from the Knicks, your deal cuts their nose to spite their face -- it would be the ultimate (bleep) you, for sure.

4LifeLakerFan (earth)

Do u think with Artest contract and lack of productivity, r the Lakers becoming more and more stuck with him like they r with Walton? And if so, how regretful r the Lakers feeling right now for doing these signings?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:24 PM)

4Life-Certainly without an uptick in productivity from Artest, they're likely stuck with him. I can't see anyone giving up anything of value for him. Measuring regret on him isn't completely cut and dried, because they did win a title last season and he was a big factor in the playoffs at times. Beyond that, Ariza hasn't exactly lit up the league since leaving LA. But obviously he's a lot younger, if nothing else. As for Walton, given the context when he signed, it wasn't so much the amount of money, but the length. No question, though, they'd love to be out from under the deal.

Ted (Garden Grove)

I'm not sure the Lakers will get the 2nd seed in West. Is it just me or is Dallas now a serious threat too. They have a little size and some good veteren players. Kidd, Marion, Chandler, etc.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:25 PM)

Ted: There's a part of me refusing to buy into Dallas, given their steady habit of folding in the playoffs. But having said that, they do look better and tougher. Bottom line, the Lakers need to pick things up, period.

Vic (L.A, CA)

Who can stop Ron on the post? He is a beast down there, why not draw more plays for him on the post. Maybe run the triangle thru him sometimes, especially when one of the bigs are on the bench. What do you guys think?

Joel (Thousand Oaks)

Bynum/Blake for S Curry/Vlad Rad/Gadzuric - who says no? Lakers get their playmaker/shooter for the future post-Kobe years.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:28 PM)

Joel, for what it's worth, I proposed almost the same hypothetical last week, and more than 70 percent of Laker fans said no. http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/lakers/post/_/id/15863/trade-machine-concoctions-that-makes-you-go-hmmm

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:28 PM)

They've managed to do it a little more of late, and need to continue because it keeps Artest more active and gives the opposition another look, but the problem with making it a regular go-to is Artest's limitations athletically. He can't elevate, which makes him incredibly vulnerable to weakside shot blockers. He has to get it with his man on his hip and little by way of interference between him and the bucket. Otherwise, because he can't elevate and isn't exactly the most elegant of post players, the result won't be pretty.

Mike (Van Nuys)

Dallas is playing well. Do you see them as a real threat?

John (Encino, CA)

Since Reggie was contimplating joining the Celtics this summer, any chance he can help us with OUR perimeter woes in the 11th hour?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:30 PM)

I do, to a point. The Mavs are a legitimately good team, and won't fall off the ends of the earth as long as Dirk stays healthy and the rest of the roster is reasonably intact. That said, they've had great regular seasons before, and flamed out in the playoffs. I'd need to be shown something a little different to fully buy in this year. But they shouldn't be messed with, and while I think the Lakers can beat them as a road team in a seven game series, to add a third series to the WCF and Finals where all three would make them the road team? That's burly.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:30 PM)

John: Those odds feel remote at best, and I'm glad. Dude's been out of basketball for six years. I have a hard time believing he'd be of any help.

Alex C (Charlotte, NC)

I know the lakers lost last night, but they were on a back to back, and were right in the orlando game till the fourth quarter. If they beat cleveland they would be 5-2 on the trip. Thats still pretty respectable right? Only thing that worries me is that they finish with a better record than boston so that they have home court adv. Because without it I doubt they beat boston in a seven game series? What do you think?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:33 PM)

Very voice of reason of you, Alex. And good points, all. 5-2 is very solid, especially with the win over Boston. The problem is often aesthetics when it comes to the Lakers. When they lose, they often look absolutely awful in the process. I agree with you about Boston, though. With two healthy squads, it would be hard to favor the Lakers as the road team in the Finals.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:33 PM)

Hey folks. Time for one or two more... Great conversation today.

JV (Socal)

AK/BK - Hi ! What do you think of the possibility of Kobe changing into a dead-eye shooter down the line..a-la Ray Allen...he was asked that question recently...he said.."yeah....maybe...if necessity calls for it.." something like that..

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:34 PM)

JV: I don't know if that's necessarily possible. Kobe's been in the league 15 seasons and while he's often a deadly outside shooter, he's never been the most consistent. I don't know if it's possible to "become" one this late in his career. Having said that, not only would I love to be wrong, I challenge Kobe to make it happen this season. The Lakers could use the downtown firepower.

Kobe (where the streets have no names)

what else can i do to get this team to where it needs to be. i try passing - doesn't work. i try shooting - i get told i'm a ballhog. seems im in a lose-lose situation.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:36 PM)

Hey Kobe-I generally agree with you. A few moments of extended wonky decision making notwithstanding, overall I think you've done your part. The Lakers have problems, but they don't have a "Kobe Problem." Not as people tend to define it (ball hoggery, etc.) at least. Wouldn't kill you to give a little more respect to your man defensively, though. As a group, they all just need to pick it up.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:36 PM)

Hey Kobe-I generally agree with you. A few moments of extended wonky decision making notwithstanding, overall I think you've done your part. The Lakers have problems, but they don't have a "Kobe Problem." Not as people tend to define it (ball hoggery, etc.) at least. Wouldn't kill you to give a little more respect to your man defensively, though. As a group, they all just need to pick it up.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:36 PM)

Hey Kobe-I generally agree with you. A few moments of extended wonky decision making notwithstanding, overall I think you've done your part. The Lakers have problems, but they don't have a "Kobe Problem." Not as people tend to define it (ball hoggery, etc.) at least. Wouldn't kill you to give a little more respect to your man defensively, though. As a group, they all just need to pick it up.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:37 PM)

Thanks everyone for a great chat. If you didn't get your Q answered, feel free to hit us up @espnlandolakers via Twitter. Thanks!

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:40 PM)

Thanks everyone for a great chat. If you didn't get your Q answered, feel free to hit us up @espnlandolakers via Twitter. Thanks!