Hey folks. Thanks for coming by. Appreciate all the questions (in advance). I'll be here for about 40 minutes to answer as many Q's as I can get to. Sorry to cut things slightly short, but we have another interview scheduled for this morning. Thanks!
Hi guys. First time chatting in this session. What are the chances the Lakers/Clippers see each other in the postseason?
Hi Deven-Thanks for joining up! As for your question, I think the odds don't favor it, but it's not impossible by any stretch. It would have worked out better, at least based on regular season results, if the Lakers got the Spurs in the second round and the LAC drew OKC, but obviously it'll be the reverse. Still, it's not out of the question the Lakers and Clips could both win difficult second round matchups. I wouldn't bet on either team, but it's possible. Of course, both teams have very, very tough first rounders to deal with. The Clips get Memphis, one of the best teams in the conference, while the Lakers could draw a deep Denver team or the defending champs. This, of course, without MWP.
Do you think Metta World Peace(Ron Artest)'s 7 game Suspension is too harsh for elbowing Harden or is that Just Right?
Hi Chris-To me, 7 is within my "fair" range. I thought it would/should start with a minimum of five games, and that anything past 10 would be a little too much, given the significance of playoff games. I thought it might happen that he'd be shut down for the season and would have at least identified with the argument for that, but in the end that felt too harsh to me. So I'll say it's as close to just right as you can get in a situation like this.
MWP got a fair punishment from Stern with his seven game suspension, many people wanted the head of MWP, how will it affect Lakers chances going forward in the playoffs???
That's the big question now (and thanks for checking in from India!). This is a significant penalty for the Lakers, not simply because of what MWP brought to the Lakers these days -- good defense on the wing, along with some actual offensive production -- but also because it hamstrings Mike Brown in his rotation. Especially with the potential of Matt Barnes being hobbled with an ankle problem. Brown had been using an MWP/Barnes combination to help paper over the lack of a real 2 guard behind Kobe. Obviously that's not going to work in the first round. When teams go small, as both the Nuggets and Mavs will do, no longer will Brown have the luxury of penalizing them for doing it by plopping Metta into the post and letting him punish smaller defenders. That sort of thing. It's a significant loss for a team without much margin for error.
In regards to World Peace, Harden's proximity to World Peace at the time he received the Peacemaker should reduce his suspension by half. (Three games plus the half he already served.) How is it that "Gnat" Harden is always in the way of a player trying to make his way back downcourt. The suspension needs to be reduced and technicals should be given every time Harden uses his "look away" to get in the path of non-engaged players.
Respectfully, nothing you're saying should have any bearing on the penalty. There is no justification whatsoever for what MWP did. Even if Harden initiated contact, even if he was talking smack, none of it matters. World Peace committed a horrible act on the floor, and was rightly held accountable.
Do you guys think Andrew Goudelock and/or Darius Morris will see any PT in the near future? And what do you think the chances are the Mike Brown is still the head coach next year if the Lakers make an early exit out of the playoffs?
Well, both of them will play a lot I suspect vs. Sacramento, but I doubt that's what you meant. As for the playoffs, it's certainly possible Goudelock could get a little floor time w/ MWP out if Barnes is limited. The Lakers would almost be forced to put him on the floor, even if Brown didn't want to. It's a numbers thing. But short of that, neither is going to play much, if at all, in the postseason. As for Brown, he's safe going into next year, no matter the result. Especially now, with the Lakers entering the postseason shorthanded. But he was safe anyway.
Im pretty sure Ebanks will start at SF (Keeping Barnes first guy off the bench) If Ebanks continues to play solid, does this mean Ron "why did I change my name to Metta World Peace" Artest will be amnestied? Or does his good play over 2 1/2 weeks negate his otherwise terrible season and complete lack of any offensive ability?
It's absolutely possible, Daniel. He was a prime candidate for an amnesty even before this, so obviously the suspension doesn't help. Should the Lakers lose in the first round, it's absolutely possible MWP has played his final game in a Lakers uni.
Do you think Jordan Hill will get any playoff minutes? At who's expense? McRoberts? Murphy? Bynum?
Hey LongTime-Yes, Hill will absolutely get minutes, taking those that McRoberts and to some degree Murphy were getting. Murphy might sneak on to the court a little here and there if the Lakers feel the need to stretch the floor with a big. But McB may once again be glued to the bench.
Will Andrew Goudelock be the beneficiary of at least cracking 5+ minutes in their season-finale against the Kings?
I'll take the over on that, for sure!
I think Devin should start in the playoffs at SF. He has no playoff experience, but he played such great defense against KD and he will face much lesser opponents in the first round. also it would be nice to have given Ebanks a bit of playoff experience in the first round, in case we have to play him in later rounds, especially wth Matt having an issue with his anke right now.
I think that's what Mike Brown will do. Ebanks is likely to start, with Barnes (assuming he's available) coming off the bench. It's the least disruptive way to handle the loss of MWP. Start Barnes, and now the entire bench rotation gets juggled around. This is the basic philosophy behind Ebanks starting in Kobe's absence, and it'll likely be the strategy here.
Do you think Kobe will play at Sacramento and try to go for the scoring title?
I don't, but I wouldn't blame him if he did. Obviously Kobe doesn't need to play because the game is totally meaningless. But a scoring title in any season is an incredible accomplishment, and at Kobe's age and mileage, it would be even more so. There is room for individual achievement in the structure of team sports. It would be a relatively low level of risk for a meaningful personal reward. That said, I think he'll sit out the game.
What are the chances Brown doesn't suit the starters tonight to rest them for the first round?
High. The only reason to play guys is to try and get a look at combinations of players that don't normally play with each other, because there isn't much time to prep in between now and the playoffs and the rotation will now have to be juggled. Still, I think because they have some practice time available between now and Sunday, they will likely sit starters for most, if not all, of Thursday's action.
'Sup, K. Bros., if it turns out that Denver is the 1st round opponent, how do you see the Lakers faring and what do you think the series result will be? What about Dallas? Keep up the good work!
Thanks for checking in from Mordor. Both opponents scare me a little, Denver more than Dallas (though a lot of people flip flop those). The Nuggets don't necessarily have great size, but are quite adept at going small, pushing pace, and spreading the floor. They have great depth, even with all their injuries, excellent point guard play, and so on. Dallas isn't what they were last year, and I think the Lakers would have an easier time with them. They match up pretty well with Dirk, and don't quite have the same pace pushing ability as the Nuggets. I don't see Dallas getting the Lakers out of a favorable rhythm quite as easily. And while maybe this is a bad idea, I think when a team beats another four times in the regular season in four tries, that means something.
With Metta out 7 games, Matt with a sprained ankle, and Devin crushing his fingers, will Eyenga get any playing time tonight?
Mike-I don't think so. The D-Fenders are in the D-League finals, and I don't think they'll take a player that group uses away for a meaningless game in Sacramento. Yes, Eyenga hasn't had a chance to suit up for the big club, but he won't in the playoffs, either, short some sort of catastrophe. So why screw up the minor league team at the worst time?
What do u think about the comments mike brown made about Jordan hill maybe entering playoff rotation? Is he really thinking about not playing him?
I think you have it backwards. Brown said Hill would play going forward.
Do you guys feel that Bynum's antics have anything to do with Kareem's strained relationship with the lakers organization and his close mentoring of Drew? Given that it doesn't seem that they consulted Drew when they decided that Kareem's services had come to an end it would seem plausible that there could be some underlining issue there. I wonder if this sends mixed messages to Drew about his status as the teams future feature player. Your thoughts guys.
I think Drew was fine with how his official relationship with Kareem ended. It wasn't like they stole his coach away from him, and left AB twisting in the wind. I think it's much more about Bynum becoming an All-Star, graduating to that elite status in the NBA where you know you're a big deal, where you know you're a star, and you know you're going to get paid. That's a heady place to be. Plus, I don't think he's ever been completely enamored with Mike Brown, or his system. Put it all together, and you can get this sort of immaturity. But on the list of possible explanations, I put Kareem near the bottom.
Do you guys have any screenwriting projects in the pipeline, or do your ESPN responsibilities take up all your moonlighting time?
Haven't written a screenplay in years, Marty, but who knows down the line? Right now, though, things are pretty tight time wise. Thanks for asking!
you think lakers can go finals and win against chicago or miami?
I wouldn't pick them, but if they get far enough for all of us to answer this question, a lot of good stuff has happened that might change the equation.
Brian, isn't it almost a given that with the lakes lack of bench that at some point in the playoffs they will either run out of gas or the bench will be their achilles heel?
It's a very strong possibility, yes. Lack of depth isn't as big a problem in the playoffs as it is in the regular season, because starters play more minutes and rotations shrink... except the Lakers are down a starter already, and now will have to give more time to lesser players. And you still need at least some production from the bench.
Between Dallas and Denver- who do we want? Would we be the prohibitive favorites against either? I tried to run an argument with my bro last night that Dallas would be better because Dallas makes Kobe angry and Kobe plays crazy good when angry.
Hey Anie-Like I mentioned before, I would rather play Dallas. I think the matchups work better, and the Mavs are less likely to pull the Lakers out of their comfort zone. Denver does things that could be a problem for the Lakers, even if they don't have the same sort of post skill as LA. And yeah, given what the Mavs did to L.A. last season, the revenge factor would be a major motivator.
Radio interview wit mike brown yesterday: "Can we expect more minutes from Hill?" MB: "It was Hill's time for some minutes and I put him in; may put him in against Sacremento so I can take a better look, and then decide for playoffs."
Oh, I didn't hear that. But I wouldn't worry. I suspect that's MB just trying to avoid putting himself in a box. J Hill will play.
u think kobe can win 6th ring b4 he retires?
The odds say no, unfortunately, just because it's so hard to build up an elite team, and the Lakers are at the wrong end of the championship cycle, where they have to break up and reconstruct, rather than build. Hard to do.
u think sessions can guard ty lawson in first round?
Both Lawson and Miller would be big challenges for the Lakers, and put a strain on their pick and roll coverages (though in very different ways). As a unit, the Lakers will have to be much more consistent. It's obviously an issue for Sessions, but the bigs as well.
Hey Brian, Do u think if the Lakers are dominant in their first couple playoff games they will take their foot off the gas so maybe they can squeeze in some games off MAP suspension
Absolutely not. That's a really dangerous needle to try and thread. Start trying to lose games on purpose, and suddenly a series win can disappear.
Hey guys..Lakers are in trouble aren't they.
They are, yes. The Lakers are a team with legit championship aspirations, and should be in the conversation. But they have as thin a margin for error as any contender, and thinner than most. Very little can go wrong... and things are already going wrong.
Can MWP still practice with the team while on suspension?
Yep. Just can't be with the team during games.
Hey guys. Time for one or two more...
What is the long term plan for this team? Are they in a position to make a big deal this summer?
Brandon, it's really hard to say. They have to clear salary because of the new rules in the CBA, but at the same time need to try and keep a winning team around Kobe. It'snot easy to do. I still think there's a good chance Gasol is moved, simply because he makes so much money and it's a lot to pay a guy now seen as a third option offensively. (Though he is far, far, far more valuable than that.)
How much has Sessions shoulder injury hampered his game?
Hey Scott. It has been a problem, though I think the bigger issue is teams are adjusting to what the Lakers do now with him in the lineup. They've never been a big pick and roll team. Now they are, so teams are adjusting. They're learning where he's deficient defensively, too, and are attacking. But the shoulder is an issue, especially defensively. Tough to fight through screens.
Ok, guys. I gotta run. Sorry I couldn't get to more Q's. Send yours to @espnlandolakers on Twitter if you didn't get a response. Thanks!