Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

March 23, 1:30 PM ET
Chat with the Kamenetzky Brothers

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:31 PM)

Hey everyone, let's get 'er started.

Kevin (Charlotte)

I am still tired and I didn't even play in the game, although I do live on the east coast.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:32 PM)

You and me both, buddy. You and me both.

natalie walker (lexington, kentucky)

can Ron Ron keep up this higher level of play for extended periods, like in the playoffs?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:36 PM)

Natalie: Trying to predict the future with Ron is about as dicey as tea leaves come, but I'm inclined to say yes. Ron's looking exceptionally comfortable right now, and his struggles for most of the season were related to a lack of comfort on various levels. I think time away during the All-Star Break did him well and re-energized him. I also think it helps that he's being given the ball more as a play maker to work off the dribble (typically into the lane), which has elevated his engagement.

Zach Lindrin (WI)

Lets show some love for Fish coming up with some big plays down the stretch and in OT

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:36 PM)

Zach: Indeed. It wasn't a huge game from a statistical standpoint, but Fisher earned his paycheck in this game.

Jose (Sylmar)

Are the Lakers playing with too much intensity. Knowing that first place in the west is a bit out of reach, shouldnt the Lakers play with a little less intensity and save some for the post season?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:42 PM)

Jose: Wow! That's the most ironic question of the season, considering all the complaints about a lack of urgency. Haha. But to answer the question, no, because there's still a race for position in the West (2nd seed) and home court in the theoretical Finals. Plus, this level of intensity is bringing out the best in the team as the playoffs approach. I think the pace, so to speak, is being properly measured.

Az Dave (Arizona)

Any concern that Kobe's ankle will not be able to fully heal with him playing on it? He did alright last night but you can tell it's affecting him.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:44 PM)

Az Dave: I wondered about that, too, but I don't think it'll be a problem. There's no practice today and even if there was a session, Kobe would undoubtedly take things easy. Same with tomorrow. Phil was asked about the heavy minutes and the ankle, and he thought the constant breaks in the action allowed Kobe to recuperate a bit. Fingers crossed, he should be okay.

Mike (Albuquerque)

Once Kobe got Grant Hill fouled out, I knew we won the game.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:45 PM)

Mike (Albuquerque): It did feel like a decidedly positive omen, huh?

Eddie (Colton, Ca)

How big of an impact do you see Shaq being in the Playoffs for the Celtics? And do you think that the Lakers need HCA vs the Celtics to beat them?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:51 PM)

Eddie: At the risk of selling the guy short, I can't really picture Shaq being much of a difference maker for Boston. He's missed so many games, and even taking into account the wear and tear avoided, there's still a matter of getting into shape, having chemistry with his teammates, and his general age. His presence could be felt from time to time, but I think the Big 4, plus Glen Davis, will be counted on considerably more. As for home court, I think the Lakers don't need it to beat any team in a series. It would obviously be nice, and the process becomes somewhat more difficult, but I still think HOW the Lakers are playing in the postseason matters more than WHERE.

Salim Stoudamire (Reno)

How bizarre is it that at Arizona I was my team's 3-point threat and my teammate Channing was the inside presence but now he is nothing more than a jump shooter in the NBA while I bounce around D-League teams?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:52 PM)

Salim: As William Shatner said in "Airplane II," "Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes."

LVGIRLDC (LAS VEGAS NEVADA)

That was a thrilling game last night. My question to you is..Why was Luke Walton in the game.. He just plays so badly lately?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:56 PM)

LVGIRLDC: With Bynum suspended, the frontcourt options narrow, which means Walton is needed to provide guys a breather now and then. He did okay in the first half, but you're right, the second half was horrific. But once Drew is back on Friday, I doubt Walton will play much, if at all. Just like before Drew got suspended.

ZachLindrin (WI)

Say Queensbridge

jid (sf, ca)

forget the efforts of kobe and lamar last night and agree with me that vince was the difference maker ...

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:58 PM)

Jid: 10 years from now, we'll all look back on this game and wonder how Vince's 7-23 performance (with four of the seven buckets in the first quarter) got lost in the shuffle.

Doug (California)

I've noticed that Pau Gasol has appeared on your bad list 18 times in the last 35 end of game bad list write ups. Gasol's a pretty good player so when I see that kind of stuff coming from beat writers I think: player "gives terrible interviews" or player "is a total jackass." Why does Pau rub you the wrong way? Condescending? Deliberately gives you guys bad copy? Arrogant?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:01 PM)

Doug: First things first, I'm stunned you took the time to track Pau's "good/bad" stats. That's a lot of effort, so kudos along those lines. But to answer the question, we both like Pau on a personal level a lot. He's also among the more cooperative athletes I've ever encountered, and can be very funny during interviews (as I spotlighted in Monday's practice report). And we also agree he's a terrific player. But he's been inconsistent -- by his standards, if nothing else -- this season, so there's been times when we haven't been entirely complimentary of the performances.

Tina (Los Angeles)

Why couldn't the Lakers make the adjustment last night so that they could guard the Nash to Gortat connection that was successful so many times and cut into our large lead.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:07 PM)

Tina: It's hard to provide a concrete answer without watching the game again, which I haven't had time to do. But to some degree, the issue is simply Steve Nash, who's among the best in the biz at orchestrating these situations. Plus, as our man Michael Schwartz (Valley of the Suns) noted in our preview, Gortat has been a terrific roll man for Nash since arriving in Phoenix. Their chemistry has been great, and last night was an example.

Rob L. (Los Angeles)

we're 2-0 when ron artest records a song/mv after the game, watch for an entire album to be done in the playoffs and finals

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:08 PM)

Rob L.: I'll be sure to note this to Ron the next time I see him. That should give him enough time to coordinate his recording schedule with the Lakers'.

Pau (LA)

Not easy to outrebound your opponent when all they do is chuck 3s which result in the long rebounds. My length ain't helping me against the gimick team.

Jeremy (Nashville)

Matt Brnes played well last night, & it looks like he will provide the energy

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:11 PM)

Hi everyone. Sorry to join in late.Jeremy, you're right. Barnes was great. It was easily his best game since returning to the lineup after surgery. Not simply a question of the six-for-nine shooting, but the offensive rebounding, cutting, and so on. He's extremely active, and it has a big impact on the guys around him.Barnes is integral to LA's ability to create easy points from time to time.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:12 PM)

Jeremy: With all the craziness from last night, it's easy for Barnes' performance to fly under the radar. But you're right, he did play quite well. Both Matt and Phil Jackson felt this was the best the small forward has looked since returning from surgery. Hopefully, it's a sign of trending in the right direction. I thought he played well against Minnesota, too.

J Rich (Orlando)

I would totally have made those shots....

Jerry (Whittier, Ca)

Lamar 6th man of the year?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:14 PM)

Jerry: Lamar is certainly making a case for himself. The biggest problem he may encounter is too many games as a starter with Bynum out for one reason or another. But I think he's considered a front runner, along with Jason Terry and probably Jamal Crawford (although the Hawks fading hard probably isn't helping his case). Kobe and Phil have both cast strong endorsements for LO in the last few days.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:17 PM)

Jester-I think the league would definitely be stronger, financially, and in terms of the product on the floor if three or four teams went away. There are markets w/ teams simply unable to support them. As Lakers fans, people in LA get a somewhat misleading view of the league. Every game at Staples is sold out, and the Lakers sell out games on the road, too. But in when Memphis plays Toronto at home, maybe 10K people show up.It won't happen- the PA won't allow it- but big picture you're right.

Drew Abell (Mississippi)

When is Channing Frye a free agent? I sure wouldn't mind having him with the Lakers with the way he can shoot

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:18 PM)

Drew-I'm afraid he's off the market for a while. Suns went w/ a long term deal with him, through (I believe) 13/14 season.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:19 PM)

Drew Abell: Mark your calender for the summer of 2015!!!

Ivy (San Diego)

I'm sure the Suns are regretting giving 23 shots to VC or maybe even letting him play 40 minutes period.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:19 PM)

Ivy-They got him for the giant expiring deal, not because they're excited about actually watching him play. :)

Nick Hamilton (Los Angeles)

Should we as Lakers fans be concerned that it took 3 OT's for them to beat a team like the Suns? Especially after blowing a 21 point lead

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:22 PM)

Nick-Not really. That sort of thing happens from time to time. The Lakers aren't going to beat every team- good, bad, otherwise- by 10 every night. The Suns are a dangerous team based on their ability to score, with a top end PG, and are playing for their playoff lives. Losing the lead was definitely disappointing- I'm sure they're upset with themselves- and no question they could have won that game without expending as much energy with a little more attention to detail in regulation, but overall take it for what it was-- a really exciting game.

Rob Shaffer (San Diego )

What is your guys' take on Lamar and Pau's going 107 minutes and Joe Smith's going 0? Mine is: 1. They REALLY want to try to finish ahead of Boston, Miami, Dallas, and Chicago. 2. (Duh) Phil doesn't trust Smith.3. Phil pushed it too hard--I would not have done it that way. I know they have two days off and Andrew is back Friday, but still...

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:22 PM)

Rob, it's a and b. And I don't blame Phil for not throwing Smith into the mix during a game like this one, especially as things got more heated. Even as a veteran, that's unfair to Joe, who's barely played at all. I'm also not concerned about Pau and LO getting pushed too hard. They have the time to recuperate, and with Drew back, their minutes should drop back into the 30's again.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:23 PM)

Rob-I think the minutes could have been a problem if the Lakers had to come back and play before Friday, but with the days off they should be ok. But you're right- clearly PJ is in no hurry to put Smith or Caracter on the floor unless he has to. Can't say I blame him. They knew when they got him Smith wasn't a player they'd put on the floor, but wanted the salary relief. And yeah, they're definitely trying to pile up wins to get the best seed possible.

Mike (Chicago)

Kobe makes me sick. Sure the Lakers are on a great run, but the way dude just jacks up shots half the time without even looking at Gasol or Bynum makes me ill! I cannot wait till they get knocke out this year. Their thin bench and Kobe the Hog will do them in.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:25 PM)

Mike: We're never gonna get anywhere if you don't tell us how you really feel.

Bob-O (Studio City, CA)

What up Kbros - Brian welcome back. Maybe it's unfair to nitpick this team but what's the deal with their inability to get a decent look for the final shot of a quarter? Shannon especially guilty of this. It's almost automatic now that he'll dribble around in a crowd and then jack up some off-balance fade away brick. It's such a waste of a possession - why doesn't phil give them a few set plays to practice in order to at least get a decent look? A basic screen and roll? Anything's got to be better than what they do now.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:27 PM)

Hey Bob-O-It's not just the Lakers- what you're talking about is a phenomenon stretching far and wide around the league. For whatever reason, teams have decided at the end of quarters and games that the only play they can run is an isolation at the top of the key for the team's star, or if that guy isn't on the floor, someone else. Why they decide actually running a play (or in L.A.'s case, executing the offense) is beyond me. Because you're right, the quality of shot in those situations rarely turns out as good as something they might otherwise get. W/ Shannon specifically, he's just not a developed enough offensive player to create consistently with the dribble. He's getting better, but isn't there yet.

Az Dave (Arizona)

Is it me or has Lamar been playing lazy defense lately. It just seems everybody plays harder on the defensive side then he does. And that does not include his rebounding. He appears to give 100% in that area. I just cringe when I see him try to guard someone or run out on a shooter.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:29 PM)

Dave-I'd have to go back and look at the tape, but just off the top of my head, I'd disagree. Given how much he plays, it would be almost impossible for them to have played as well defensively as they have of late and have LO slack off. He's too important a part of the overall team D.

ZachLindrin (WI)

Should the ESPNS top ten just include the whole Lakers-Suns game from this morning? :)

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:30 PM)

Not a bad idea, for sure!

kimberly (La )

will andrew play friday how do u think he will approach the game friday after being suspened.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:31 PM)

Hi Kimberly-Drew should be in the lineup, for sure, and I suspect he'll come out extremely motivated to play well. I know it's been tough on him sitting on the sidelines for the last two games. He feels he needs to make it up.

Brian Hwang (Fullerton, CA)

If the seedings remain the way they are, I foresee no problem in the 1st RD for LAL vs NOR. But looking ahead to the semi-finals, I really believe POR can upset DAL. Thoughts?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:32 PM)

Hey Brian-Yeah, they could. I could also see OKC upsetting SA, but there's still a very good chance chalk wins the day, too.

James (Dallas)

I know this is a Lakers chat, but you guys overrate Dwight Howard to ridiculous levels. Bynum is a better scorer, he's MUCH bigger and longer, and he rebounds better when healthy. I realize that with big men health is a big factor. But i'll take Bynum at his salary over Howard' max salary ten times out of ten.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:34 PM)

James: I agree Drew is a more polished scorer than Dwight, but Howard is improving and faces more consistent double/triple teams than Drew. And as an overall defender, particularly one on one, Howard is much more accomplished. Plus, in saying Drew is a "better rebounder when healthy," beyond not agreeing with you, our point about health is being proved. You can't count on Drew being on the court, and Howard has missed something like 3 games due to injury. That's massively important, and make this a borderline no brainer. Also, their salaries are very similar. Drew makes about 3-4 mil less than Howard, and if Bynum maintains this level of play, the price ain't likely going down. We're both big Bynum fans, but I still think Howard is the better player and considerably safer bet.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:34 PM)

Okay, folks, thanks for dropping by. See everyone next week!