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January 18, 1:30 PM ET
Chat with the Kamenetzky Brothers

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:32 PM)

Hi everyone. Thanks for coming in. Lots to talk about today. Let's get going.

James (Mission Viejo)

Do the Lakers start of with an abundance of home games every year because of the Grammy's road trip they must take every February? What do the players think about this?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:33 PM)

Hey James. Basically, yes. It has a lot to do with it. Because they have a couple times every year where they have to leave the building (Grammy's being the biggest), it leads to a very home heavy early schedule. I think players generally don't mind, because it gives them an opportunity to work through a lot of those early season kinks on their home floor, build some chemistry, and then test it on the road.

Dan (Fresno)

Not sure if the #'s agree with me, but this years Lakers look like the worst fast break team I've ever seen. They can't even finish the easiest 2on1's half the time. What's going on?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:35 PM)

Dan-Interestingly, the last time I looked at the Synergy numbers (a couple games ago) the Lakers were actually very effective in transition, on a points per play basis. But they didn't get out in transition very often, and when they do... wow, it can look awkward.

Brian Frederick (Bridgewater, MA)

How much has Pau's shoulder injury hindered his play of late? He looks good on defense but seems a bit limited on offense.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:36 PM)

Hi Brian. This actually came up the other day. It still hurts, there's no question, and while Gasol wasn't going to complain about it, he acknowledged there are certain actions offensively that are still difficult to do.

Annoyed (Limbo)

No joke, you are the Kamenetsky brothers, nobody should be waiting on you. Know your role.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:37 PM)

We started five minutes ago.

Drew (fresno CA)

What do you think the odds of Lakers trying to make a package trade for Kevin Love before the deadline is?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:37 PM)

Zero. Minnesota isn't interested in moving him, and the Lakers don't have the pieces to get it done.

Eric (CA)

The Lakers need to sign a PG. Morris is not ready for b/u duty. There has to be someone better out there, cut Goudelock.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:38 PM)

Really, though, who? Some people point to Gilbert, others perhaps want to take a dip into the D-League. But generally speaking, I don't think there's a street FA available who provides much of an upgrade. Goudelock might not end up sticking, but I don't think there's a player out there who qualifies as a difference maker.

DeezBrown (Norfolk)

Why dont the Lakers feature Gasol and Fish out of the second unit and run the pick and roll?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:40 PM)

Pau does play with the second unit a fair amount. They don't run a ton of P and R with Fish, because he's not a very effective P and R PG. He's not great in the lane, and doesn't necesarily turn the corner with ease. He's moving the ball very well in the half court, but not as much on the move.

Daniel (Cypress, CA)

Any chance we could trade peace for anything? Im more than willing to accept a bag of balls or two new nets as equal value.....7% 3pt Shooting!!!!!!! and dropping.....

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:40 PM)

What would you give up to get him? Kind of answers your question. (I think really, you answered it yourself.)

Berger (Los Angeles)

Orlando owner has made it clear he does not want to send another big man to the Lakers. Why not use the Lamar exception on Nash and make the offense 1,000 times easier for the rest of the lakers? I guarantee Nash's defense isn't any worse than Dfish

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:42 PM)

Phoenix has no interest in trading Nash, Nash says he doesn't want to be traded, and if/when they do, I suspect they'll get a better return than simply a trade exception.But most important, Nash's salary is too high to use w/ the LO trade exception, so it's a moot point.

Gary (Lake Forrest)

Is the team finally going to practice some today???

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:43 PM)

Nope. Travel day to Florida. And their next off day is taken up, at least in part, by the trip back from Florida. Finding floor time right now is very, very difficult. Even when they get it, they can't go full speed.

Alexander (LA)

Any chance we see World Peace get amnestied during the season?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:43 PM)

No. Amnesty period has passed until next year.

Alex R. (Long Beach)

So, Darius really is the short-term solution to Blake being out long term? Which will Lakers do first, trade for Dwight Howard or FINALLY pickup a PG?

kevin (LA)

Is it comical or downright pathetic how the Lakers can't make 3s? I actually think it's pretty funny.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:46 PM)

Kevin: I recommend laughing to keep from crying. It's a healthier, more fun way to acknowledge both emotions.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:47 PM)

He's a short term solution, at best. I like Morris, but he's going to be all over the map in these early games, and anytime he isn't a liability the Lakers basically come out ahead. that's a tough way to go. Asking a rookie second rounder to step in at PG and do more than that, though, is totally unfair. Long term, love the potential. Short term... hold on and hope for the best. As for the PG or Howard thing, that's the big question for the Lakers. Do they hold all their chips until DH signs a contract somewhere, or decide to try and improve the team in another way?

James (Mission Viejo)

Any truth to Andy being the 3rd Sklar brother? He looks just like 'em.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:47 PM)

James: No, but I grew up with Randy and Jason, and have known them basically my whole life. Really good dudes.

macrio (Wilshire)

What does it say about the Clippers to lose by 30 in Utah on a back-to-back? Is cp3 really a 30 pt. difference?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:48 PM)

That, plus that Utah may actually be a decent team (which makes some sense, given Harris, Jefferson, Millsap, and some other decent depth players they have on the roster), and playing three games in a row is really tough. But without CP3 and Mo, the Clips are a more ordinary team. And they NEVER win in Utah.

Daniel (Philly)

HI KAMENETZKY BROTHERS. WOULD YOU TRADE GASOL FOR CHRIS BOSH?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:50 PM)

Daniel: Probably, but mostly because Bosh is four years younger, and that's a big deal in this business, particularly for a franchise with an older roster. But in terms of actual skills, I like Pau's better, even though Bosh is obviously an excellent player.

Lex (LA)

What do you think we could get for Pau if we put him on the block? Why not revisit the trade witht the Rockets with Lowry instead. One trade I thought made a whole lot a sense for both teams would be the Pacers. They would get Pau we would get Collison, Granger and Hansborough.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:50 PM)

Lex-I think there's a market for Pau, but Houston wouldn't package Lowry to get him, I don't think. And that's far too much for Indiana to give up in return. They're playing awfully well with the group they have.

Maximus (LA)

What up K-Bros, the holy grail of chat days is finally here! Great to see D Fish hit that dagger 3 the other night, but my question is has our bench won the points matchup against the other teams bench even 1 time this year? I swear I cant remember our bench winning one matchup this year.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:54 PM)

Maximus-Bench productivity has, to say the least, remained an issue. Some of it is injuries. Bynum for example missed the first four games, pushing McRoberts into the lineup. Then he got hurt, Murphy missed a couple games, as did Kapono, and now Blake is out. So rarely has the group been intact. But that said, there's nobody you look at on the bench and think, here's someone who can put points on the board. There are some guys who can do it periodically, but as a reliable source of offense? It's not there, and I don't know if it's coming.

Joseph (Aneheim)

Do you guys know if D-wade is playing tomorrow?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:54 PM)

My understanding is it's unlikely.

Marcos (Miami)

Do you think the suns would trade Aaron Brooks to the Lakers for the trade exemption? And do you think the lakers are looking at any players over there in china?

Nate (WLA)

So what are the chances that Dallas spirals into a lottery team and the Lakers end up with a high draft pick? (I love L.O. but I'm rooting for this now...)

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:55 PM)

Don't bother, Nate. The pick is protected, at least to 20 I believe. Not sure exactly where the protection ends, but I know it extends through the lottery. If you want the Lakers to use the pick anytime soon, you actually want Dallas to win.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:55 PM)

Marcos: You can't trade an exception, so the Brooks trade you're describing can't take place. As for the other guys in China, it's too early to know, but I'm guessing they're not terribly interested in K-Mart or J.R. Smith. The former is too old and cranky, and the latter is too young and erratic.

Daniel (Cypress, CA)

Why isn't Ebanks getting more playing time? I get that he isn't gods gift to basketball, but he is a better option offensively than Peace of Garbage and defensively better than Puke Walton. (potentially better defensively better than Peace of Garbage)

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:58 PM)

Hey Daniel-Basically, it's a function of available minutes. Barnes is starting and playing well, and they haven't given up on MWP behind him. It's too early to do it, though his production has been very, very spotty. Defensively, though, he still provides a superior presence to Ebanks. I suspect, though, if he keeps playing this way Brown will have to come to a decision. Not sure why you inject Walton in there, though. He's not playing, either.

Dylon (Miami)

Can the Lakers be contenders with the team the way it is? I think we need a Deron Williams desperately. What are the chances we make a move before the all-star break?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:59 PM)

Dylon: The Lakers could certainly use D.Will, but I'm not sure who they'd give up to make that happen. One assumes Andrew Bynum isn't getting moved until it's certain Dwight Howard is off the table. So that being the case, would Pau Gasol be enough for the Nets? I'm not so sure. Even taking into account New Jersey gave up Derrick Favors and Devin Harris on a gamble for Williams, which would make losing Harris for nothing feel especially tough, a 31 year old and expensive Gasol doesn't really do a rebuilding team a ton of good. Given the impending move to New York, I'd rather maintain the cap space if I'm not gonna be great either way.

Adam (Toronto)

Long term, the Lakers simply cannot win with Kobe taking 30 shots a game. Is this just a matter of Mike Brown trying to get the players used to the offense so the easiest thing to do is tell Kobe to carry the team till everyone gets assimilated?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:01 PM)

Hey Adam-I agree. I think it's a combination of a few things. First, the offense really hasn't settled around anyone other than Kobe. They've been very good at getting him the ball in good spots for him to succeed, getting clean looks and solid opportunities. Since many are going in, it encourages them to keep doing it. Meanwhile, the other guys don't fit in quite as well. Particularly Gasol. I don't think they've really figured out how to use him in any way other than a pick and pop shooter and a facilitator at the elbow. So that needs to improve. And I think it's pretty clear, too, that Kobe has been trying to prove a point since the Denver game, which he's done. So put it all together, and you get the current state of the laekrs offense.

Arthur (El Monte)

Is there a way of getting Dwight without giving up Gasol?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:03 PM)

Arthur: It depends on the rest of the packages being offered for Dwight. Bynum is the best player I've hear being dangled for Howard, but perhaps some other teams can offer more depth. But unless the front office decides this team can't possibly win a championship and to blow it up ASAP for the next wave, I can't imagine they'll trade both Gasol and Bynum for Howard. That makes the team much worse in the short run, and leaves them with virtually no other trade assets of any kind.

T (Cascade, MT)

K-Bros- Is the Lakers' putrid offense mainly due to the lockout/compressed schedule, new additions, Mike Brown's system, too much Kobe, or a combination? It has been painful to watch at times.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:04 PM)

Tactically, the big difference is extending the bigs on the pick and roll coverage. They're showing far more aggressively and higher on the floor than last year. But other than that, I think it's a combination of a few things. First, they're just putting out a lot more energy on that end, which is a reflection of Brown's influence. There is more structure, and I believe more accountability, too. From there, it helps that Bynum has been healthy from the jump, that offenses around the league are struggling, and that they've played a lot at home, where it's easier to D up. But this is a good defensive team, for sure. Not a fluke.

Mansa (L.A. to the Bay)

Hey K BRos. I jumped on late and really wanted to get this question answered, so I hope you can. What do you think of us picking up O.J. Mayo withthe exception? He would really help our shot crator problems.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:07 PM)

Mansa: I was just talking about that with a friend the other day. The Griz do appear pretty interested in moving Mayo and actually would have dealt him to the Pacers last season had the paperwork arrived in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, the Lakers don't have much in the way of assets Memphis would want. Thus, I'm guessing the scenario would have to be Memphis moving him to the Lakers for nothing (trade exception) and simply dumping his salary. I'm guessing they'd like to get more for Mayo, but if for whatever reason they decide the Randolph/Arthur injuries will torpedo their title chances, maybe the savings is appealing enough.

James (Mission Viejo)

You cant trade a trade exception? So it can only be used to take on salary?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:07 PM)

James: Yup. A trade exception can't be moved as a commodity.

Andrew (Thousand Oaks)

Shouldn't we be trying to get a point guard by the deadline instead of concentrating on Dwight? It just doesn't seem like a massive upgrade over Bynum and it's become clear that we need someone who can create on the perimeter other than Kobe....

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:08 PM)

Just depends on whether you think this team is worth trying to get over the edge, or if it's more important to try and get that piece they can build around down the road. If you think it's the latter, you do what needs to be done to get Dwight. If not, maybe you look into using that trade exception on a lesser piece to help improve the PG situation, or find a good bench scorer. It's tough, because using any of their limited pieces almost surely takes them out of the market for a premiere FA right now.

Daniel (Cypress, CA)

Any chance we could package Peace in a deal with Bynum for Howard, or some other star?

Peter (Montreal)

Why are the Lakers not running more pick and rolls with Kobe and Pau?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:09 PM)

Daniel: Unless the Lakers are taking back an equally bad contract (in the Magic's case, Hedo, maybe Q. Richardson) then no. But Orlando (or whatever team) isn't gonna take MWP just for the fun of it.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:09 PM)

Most of the P and R's they run are Kobe/Pau, or Kobe/Bynum.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:10 PM)

They're currently trying to avoid having too many situations where Kobe is forced to dribble a ton, too.

tommythecomicguy (Murray, KY)

Just had a thought. JR is a free agent right? Why not sign and trade with Denver using the exception? JR is worth 5 or 6 million easily.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:11 PM)

Tommy: Smith is in China, so the Lakers couldn't pick him up until March or so. And I doubt they'd want him anyway. He's too erratic and difficult to work with, talent acknowledged.

Trevor (LA)

Please Lakers fans...stop asking about ridiculous trades! no team is going to trade us their star player for MWP, Walton or even Pau, just stop it already!

craig (dallas)

hey guys do you expect the defensive effort to continue against miami..good chance at holding under 90 points?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:12 PM)

Hey Craig-I think against the Heat, who are running a lot more and can beat up the Lakers in the open floor, the defensive side is going to be predicated in part on how well they play offensively. If they can put the ball in the hoop and force Miami to take it out off the inbound, they have a better chance. They're still not a brilliant half court team. Under 90 might be a tall order, but I think they'll put in a good effort.

Trevor (LA)

Any reason for Murphy seeing less of the floor lately?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:14 PM)

Hi Trevor-Some of it is the food poisioning he dealt with, which took him out of the lineup for a couple games and weakened him for a couple more, then matchups play a role, too. Murphy isn't the most moble of bigs, so when teams go smaller, it's tough for him to play effectively in pick and roll coverages, and so on.

Trevor (LA)

What do you think the best case scenario for the Lakers is for their Florida back-to-back? A split?

Nemo (Seattle)

Morris seems to have great potential at PG and may eventually develop into our starting PG at some time if the Lakers are patient enough...I would love to see him be a little more aggressive offensively and attack the hoop more...I know he's young and inexperienced, but I would like to see him in P&R situations be a little more aggressive going to the rim or making the pass...he plays pretty good defense and hustles...what do you think?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:15 PM)

Nemo: I like Darius' potential a lot, actually. He definitely looks the part of an NBA point guard, and he's not intimidated by the situation. I don't know if he'll reach elite status, but I think he'll be able to become a quality NBA player. The general consensus I read about him was if he stayed another year at Michigan, he'd easily be a first round pick in the upcoming draft, maybe even a lottery selection. But in the meantime, there will be growing pains, and times where he truly looks like a rookie trying to do too much.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:15 PM)

Well, best case scenario is two wins. A split would be good, though.

Dustin (OC)

Assuming the Lakers do end up making the much clamored for move for a new PG, what would happen to Fisher? As you guys have mentioned before, his skill set doesn't fit with a second unit team, so what would he do? Retire?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:17 PM)

Hi Dustin-Basically, I think he becomes the team's third PG, unless they can figure out a way to move his contract. Would he retire? I don't know. Maybe he would ask for a trade. Not sure. We would have found out, had the CP3 trade gone through... but alas it did not. There's a possibility he'd back up New Point Guard, but I still don't think he'd beat out Blake for minutes there.

Sean (Boston)

Hey guys, thanks for taking the time. What's been your sense from being in the locker room about how the team views Pau's performance so far? Is Kobe, who has before called him his favorite player in the world, satisfied with his production?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:18 PM)

Sean: I don't want to play mind-reader for Pau's teammates in terms of how they view his performance, but I can say with confidence Gasol is going through a period of major adjustment. His role has changed, with Bynum more of a focal point in the offense, and Kobe shooting even more than last season (when he, by the way, shot the ball more than in 2010). He's also being utilized more in the high post, where I don't think his options are as fluid. And defensively, the system is pretty taxing on a big. Pau's been a good soldier, but this ain't easy for him. Hopefully, the rest of the team is cognizant of this situation, and patient.

James (Mission Viejo)

Whitlock wrote a column the other day saying he thought Miami is better without D Wade. Is he blowing smoke just to get clicks and people in fits or is there any sentiment out there that because he and James are so ball centric that they cannot coexist? One of them for D Howard maybe?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:19 PM)

I haven't read it, James, but my own opinion is that a) it's silly to say they're "better" without any one of the big three, but your point that the skill sets of LeBron and Wade make it tough for them to play together is absolutly true. Both are ball dominant players who don't do well waiting on the weakside wing for things to come to them. They haven't had to learn how to move extremely well off the ball... because generally they have it. Plus, while I haven't seen a TON of Heat games this year, they still look like they're learning how to get Wade and James involved in plays at the same time, rather than taking turns. So no, they're not better, but it points to a weakness in their Big Three.

Trevor (LA)

how long is blake projected to be out?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:20 PM)

Trevor: At least another 3 or so weeks, give or take.

Joseph (Aneheim)

Did you guys hear what MJ said about kobe being in the discussion?Shouldnt we be talking about this? MJ has never said this about anyone before.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:24 PM)

Joesph: Unless Brian has a burning desire to get into it, you probably won't find much discussion at Land O' Lakers. As I've written several times on the blog, nothing bores me more than "Kobe-MJ." The degree to which Kobe hasn't been allowed his own career because of the persistent MJ comparisons is actually pretty disappointing in my eyes. It's deserved praise, but to be perfectly honest, I couldn't care less what Jordan thinks about Kobe's proximity to his status.

Sepaps (Encino)

My confidence in the ability to keep up in "Marquee" games was highlighted when they lost to the Clippers on the Staples floor which brings up the most serious point to this short season: From what you've seen (since you know these guys and see them up close and personal almost daily) do you think that they will have gas to keep up this season? it seems like the fatigue plays it's biggest factor on the offensive end of the floor?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:24 PM)

Well, the good news is every game they've played thus far is one they don't have to play later, meaning they'll have at least a few more off days as the season goes on. But yeah, fatigue is going to be a big thing as the season goes on, and it's going to be very difficult to determine how good certain teams really are. The vagaries of the schedule make it tough even to take much from head to head games. Take LAL/LAC, for example. That game, the Clips had played five fewer overall, had two days off, and the Lakers were on the wrong end of a b2b. Obviously that makes a difference, but how much?But there's reason for concern when it comes to the Lakers. They've played playoff style basketball from the jump, which prepares them nicely but is a real grind.

Jeremiah (Wilshire)

Do you think Lakers play better at home because the relatively quiet Staples Center crowd makes it easier for Brown to yell out commands on the floor?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:26 PM)

Jeremiah: Quite the backhanded advantage you're theorizing.

Spursfan69 (SA-Town)

GO SPURS LAKERS SUCK

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:27 PM)

My wife is a Spurs fan, so as a favor to her, I allowed that comment. I'm pretty sure that wasn't her, though.

Adam (Toronto)

Why does Kobe wear his jersey 3 sizes too big?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:28 PM)

Adam: Because it's easier to chew that way.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:28 PM)

And on that note, thanks to everyone for dropping by. We really appreciate it. Be sure to drop by Lakers Late Night Thursday and Friday nights after the Heat and Magic games.