Lakers-Cavs preview/new Podkast with guest Mike Fratello

Did ya think we'd let a week pass without a Kamenetzky Brothers gabfest? Well, wish and pray as you might, not happening. There's a new recording fresh out of the factory, ready to be shared. A breakdown below:

-(2:38 mark): You heard players discuss the roadie's significance. Brian and I take our turn. Similar to the athlete consensus, I'm of the opinion that while you always want to win and play in a way developing growth, the "stakes" accompanying this eight-game bonanza have been overstated. Unless the losses are specifically the result of issues that could linger, the Lakers remain who they are, regardless of whether they go 6-2 or 4-4. Brian sees where I'm coming from, but from a long-term standpoint, is a little more concerned about racking the W's.

-(9:18 mark): Which of the upcoming contests not involving Cleveland or Boston strike us as the most intriguing?

-(13:25 mark): My upcoming interview with TNT's Mike Fratello, AKA "The Czar," reminds me how whenever I envision dictators and rulers of yore, I always picture them short in stature, which makes me think of Fratello, who is also short. Before realizing a "telestrater" was involved, I incorrectly viewed the nickname as a reference to height. This leads to a discussion of history's vertically-challenged leaders.

-And finally, I spend some time chatting with Fratello as a preview of tonight's Lakers-Cavs rematch. Topics include his opinion of the Lakers at the halfway mark, Pau Gasol's growth since coaching him in Memphis and the best way to go about containing LeBron James. For just the interview, click here.

Excerpts from Fratello on tonight's game...

On how he expects both teams to come out:

    Cleveland is smart enough, veteran enough to understand the Lakers are going to come in and try to make a statement. Make a point. Even the season series out at one game apiece. They're well aware of that. Some of the other guys who have not had their best performances over the last five or six games are gonna have to pick it up a little bit. (But) LeBron has been outstanding... On the other hand, I'm sure that Phil Jackson and Kobe have gotten their messages across to their teammates. We've done well at home... however, we are now going out on the road where it becomes tougher. People have zeroed in on us. It's the Lakers coming in. We've gotta start getting ourselves ready for what's going to happen over the second hald of the season.

On the best way to approach containing Lebron James:

    There's nothing he really can't do. He can pass. He can rebound. He can block shots. He can run. He can jump. And he has a really high basketball I.Q. He really understands the game. So you have to determine going into it, what do you want to try to minimize? What do you want to try to take away, if you can. You try to cut down on the number of mistakes. Your team has to understand the things that he likes to do during the course of the game that perhaps you can reduce, minimize, keep the crowd out of it. All of those things go into play when you're putting your defensive plan together.

On coach Mike Brown now figuring out how to implement Shaquille O'Neal into the frontcourt while allowing LeBron to remain dominant:

    It's not an easy task, what Mike Brown had to set out and try to figure out early in this season. We talked to Mike maybe a week and a half ago... and (he) felt maybe they were just getting to the point where they had figured it out, and they were approaching the mid-point in the season. It had taken them that many games to figure it out. When you have Shaq on the floor, there's no sense having him there if you're not going to throwing him the ball.