Chat with Andy Kamenetzky
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, we'll have ESPNLosAngeles.com Los Angeles Lakers blogger Andy Kamenetzky stopping by to chat about the Lakers 2-0 deficit to the Mavericks.
Before joining ESPNLosAngeles.com, Andy, and his brother Brian, hosted Lakers Blog for the Los Angeles Times from 2005-09. They host the ESPN Kamenetzky Brothers Lakers PodKast and frequently appear on ESPN Radio 710. As contributors for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com, they have written about virtually every sport known to mankind.
Send your questions now and join Kamenetzky Thursday at 10:30 a.m. PT/1:30 p.m. ET!
Andy Kamenetzky (1:31 PM)
Hey everyone. Thanks for popping by last minute. Let's get 'er started.
Tim Copelli (Huntington Beach, CA)
Hi...I am just amazed at how not one single "expert" brought up the issue of having to deal with Barea, from the Laker perspective, given their history of poor guard defense...I am starting to think that reading "expert" blogs don't matter anymore...Could the Lakers have also overlooked his scouting report?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:35 PM)
Tim Copelli: Well, for what it's worth, this "expert" (and I use the term exceptionally loosely in my particular case) did acknowledge Barea in my Game 1 preview. Granted, I expressed some skepticism about this kind of effect because of a poor first round against the Blazers and no true "break out" games against the Lakers in the regular season. But either way, even if I underestimated him, I guarantee the Lakers didn't forget about him. He's just having success and I think Carlisle is doing a great job keeping him on the floor, knowing the matchup pressures Phil Jackson to keep playing Blake, who's struggling.
Wil (San Diego, CA)
What is going wrong?!
Andy Kamenetzky (1:36 PM)
Wil: I don't have enough time for that question. Which basically answers the question, too.
hey k bros- i certainly don't want to pile on steve blake this morning, BUT, i do have a specific question for you regarding his passing [and not just last night]: why does it look like he's throwing a medicine ball when he's trying to bounce pass?! absolutely no zip on them. lingering weakness due to the pox, perhaps? thanks!
Andy Kamenetzky (1:40 PM)
Kyle (Berkley): It's not piling on Blake to acknowledge the obvious. Game 2 was easily the worst game I've ever seen him play and it wouldn't shock me if it was among the 2-3 worst of his career. I don't, however, think it was due to the chicken pox after-effects. Blake looked increasingly unsure of himself, which led to hesitant passes. That indecision makes the ball vulnerable to getting turned over.
Ryan H. (DC)
Does Artest deserve a suspension?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:43 PM)
Ryan H. (DC): Yes, without question. That shot to Barea, basically a clothesline, was dirty, bush stuff. No place on the court. It's a shame to see Ron end up in this situation, given his image makeover and how largely calm his time in L.A. has been, but I'd be pretty surprised if he wasn't suspended.
Lakers have had trouble with P & R play for a long time. When does this become a coaching and scheme problem?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:47 PM)
BJ (LA): First of all, EVERY team has trouble covering pick and roll. If that weren't the case, it wouldn't be the biggest staple in basketball. And honestly, the Lakers have done a better job this season. Statistically speaking, the Lakers have been fairly good this season against pick and roll, when you look at points surrendered. They've just struggled at inopportune times in the playoffs.
Does Phil have to reevaluate holding Kobe's minutes down in light of the poor play of the bench?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:49 PM)
Brian (Frederick): Yes. I've been surprised by the amount of time Kobe has spent sitting in this series, given the bench's lack of productivity. I'm sure Phil is concerned about Kobe's ankle and being able to get through it, but at this point, without an uptick in production from the reserves, Kobe's gotta play more. Otherwise, they're getting eliminated anyway.
I wasn't able to watch the game but I heard people were booing? Who got the brunt of those boos?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:51 PM)
Jake (AZ): The brunt of the boos were definitely for Pau, who was hearing it from the fans all game. At the beginning, they were just restless whenever he touched the ball, but then it turned into straight up jeers. However, the entire team was getting razzed. The Staples faithful definitely wasn't happy about what they saw.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:54 PM)
Hi folks. Just ducking in to answer a question while Andy changes a diaper. His daughter's, not his.
What did Bynum specifically mean by trust issues?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:56 PM)
Most importantly, he's referring to on-court issues. Guys believing in each other, the system, to make the extra pass, to make the extra rotation, and so on. It's a question of faith. The Lakers lack it. That sort of tension spreads into the locker room. It's not that the Lakers hate each other, they're just out of sorts, tense, and so on. That has an impact.
The Lakers have openly admitted to chemistry (trust) issues. Could Drew be the main culprit here? There's no question that Gasol is a better player with Odom in the front court and the Lakers championships have come with Drew in limited fashion due to injury, which is the main difference in this postseason. The thought of the twin towers makes sense, but we have yet to see it really work. You guys get more of an inside look than us, tell me, Are he and Gasol just not on the same page?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:57 PM)
Actually, Drew and Pau are very close. I think Pau's problems right now have more to do with Pau than Bynum.
How great is Dirk?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:57 PM)
If you boo'd last night. Please turn in your Laker fan card because you are a bandwagon, fair weather fan. Go "cheer" for another team.
Tyler L (Dallas, TX)
As a Mavs fan im curious what you think will play out the rest of the series....how will it end?
Jeff (Los Angeles)
Where's the intensity??? For the past 2 years during the playoffs, the Lakers always had a point in a series that they just figured it out, no matter where they played or who they played, they just figured out how to win no matter what.. Why haven't they done it this year so far?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:57 PM)
Jeff (Los Angeles): I think the Lakers are starting to hit a wall, physically and especially mentally. The problem right now isn't indifference, but rather being disjointed against a good team. But last night, as badly as they played, they certainly were working hard. But hard work isn't the same thing as effective work. Some things can't just be "figured out," you know?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:58 PM)
Hey Tyler-I was thinking about that this morning. I think if the Lakers win Game 3, they'll have a chance to do some good things. It's a little like Miami was when they were slumping- they needed one good result against a good team to get going. That could be at play here, for the Lakers. They need something positive to happen. But if they lose Game 3, I think it could be a sweep. At this point, I think the Mavs win the series. The Lakers still have a chance, no question, but I'll go with the combination of history, LA's problems, and strong play from the Mavs.
Dallas is primarily a perimeter oriented team although guys like Marion and at times Dirk can get inside and score.....how does LA adjust their defensive scheme which is about chasing guys off the perimeter....funneling them inside to where Drew/Pau would be waiting..( it is a gross oversimplification I know)..another thing..Drew seemed to be unhappy about being left hanging despite establishing good position...do you think that affects his defense too ?? He has to be the defensive anchor down low....requiring him to carry the scoring load alongside Kobe seems like asking for too much...no ?
If PnR play is so unstoppable, why the @#$% don't the Lakers use it? All we get is stagnant iso's, and last second beat the shotclock desperation shots...
Andy Kamenetzky (1:59 PM)
Eric (CA): In fairness, the Lakers have been pretty successful the last few seasons as a team not dependent on pick and roll. And it's not like the Lakers NEVER run pick and roll. But either way, the problem isn't the system, but rather the execution (or lack thereof), plus terrible outside shooting
Brian Kamenetzky (2:00 PM)
Hi Andrew-I don't think Drew is sulking defensively, but the Lakers are so spread out and discombobulated it's tough for him to do what he wants to do. Particularly on the pick and roll, they're getting shredded. And because the Mavs use Dirk in so many of those sets, it puts a great deal of pressure on the bigs, because they're afraid to leave him.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:01 PM)
OK, folks. Gotta run. Andy's back in. I'll see everyone from Dallas....
What happens to the Lakers if they don't win this year? Does Phil really retire? Does Kobe never get that coveted sixth ring?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:03 PM)
John (Boston): Phil definitely leaves, I think, but Kobe can still get a 6th ring. The window for this Lakers core doesn't shut entirely. They're too good a team for that drastic an outcome.
Jim Morisson (Pariscapades)
Is this The End , beautiful friends ???
Luan Morina (Kosovo, Europe)
What do you think Lakers need to do in Dallas to win at least one game, what would you strategy be if you were on Phil Jackson place???
Andy Kamenetzky (2:06 PM)
Luan Morina: That's a tough question to narrow down, because everything is falling apart on so many levels and so drastically. But it wouldn't be a terrible idea for everyone to take a deep breath and relax. The Lakers looked like an exceptionally tight team last night, especially as they started getting into trouble. At the end of the day, it's still just basketball, as Kobe and Phil both reminded. Just basketball they happen to be playing poorly, but just basketball nonetheless.
John (Azusa, CA)
Are the Lakers still putting up that nonchalant facade of "nobody can beat us in a 7 game series" attitude?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:07 PM)
John (Azusa): No, that's the case at all. If anything, it's the opposite. The Lakers aren't acting collectively confident in their ability to win a series. The body language, vibe and words express a lot of frustration, confusion and fatugue.
Mark (Northridge, CA)
How do you feel about Bynum airing the team's dirty laundry (i.e. supposed "trust issues") to the press?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:11 PM)
Mark (Northridge): I have mixed feelings. I understand anybody of the opinion that it was neither the time or place for Drew to vocalize these issues, legitimate as they may be. The Lakers are dealing with enough problems as it is. On the other hand, I completely understand his frustration, and perhaps we've reached the point where laying it all out on the table is in order. It's much harder to sweep these issues in need of immediate addressing under the rug after being made so public. Thus, I can honestly see both sides of the issue.
Korey (Ann Arbor)
Does Odom start game 3? For Pau or for Artest?!
Andy Kamenetzky (2:14 PM)
Korey: No, I seriously doubt Phil would do that. That's too radical a change for a team out of sorts as it is. Plus, LO is gonna play starters minutes no matter when he checks into the game, so I'm not sure what really gets accomplished. My guess is Phil will either start Barnes in Ron's place for a presumed suspension, or maybe even Walton, if he REALLY wanted to keep the rotation as normal as possible. But either way, LO will keep coming off the bench.
2 years with Adam Morrison 2 rings, no Morrison no ring. Sorry just thought try and lighten the mood
Andy Kamenetzky (2:18 PM)
Jay (NY): Morrison gave championship-level high fives. Those type of intangibles can't be easily replaced.
Andrew Bynum (LA)
Give me the damn ball.
Miran (Lincoln, NE)
Hey Andy, Shannon has been pretty ineffective this postseason, aside from a jumper here and there, do you see Kobe going over the 40-minute mark from here on out? I know his ankle is so-so, but it's now or never, right? Thanks!
Andy Kamenetzky (2:20 PM)
Miran: As I said earlier, I think Kobe's PT is gonna get bumped considerably in the next couple of games, unless Shannon/the entire bench picks up their games considerably and quickly. No more room for messing around. Play time has ended, so to speak.
Does this series resemble the Pistons Finals series of the past?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:25 PM)
JoeS (California): No, I think the situations are pretty different. For me, the biggest reason the Lakers lost in the Finals was Malone's injury. He could barely move and didn't even play the final game. Horace Grant was also out. Thus, the options at the four were a hobbled Malone, Slava, guys like Fox or George undersized or a rookie Brian Cook. That turned the Finals more than any other element. The 2011 Lakers are dealing with fatigue, mental and physical, and just look completely out of sorts.
not really a question. Just wanted to say that personally as a longtime fan I think the Lakers can still do this. Yes, their playing their playing tight but if they take it one game at a time, they'll be back at home before you know it. And I agree with the guy above, anybody who wastes energy on boo's doesn't want the Lakers to win. We should cheer the most when they are losing.LET'S GO LAKERS!!!
Senly B. (Brooklyn, NY)
Is Pau hurt? He isn't driving at all to the basket. He is staying on the elbow.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:29 PM)
Senly B (Brooklyn): I've wondered about Pau's health, whether hamstrings, knee, etc. I've asked Pau and Phil, and both say he's fine. Dunno whether I believe what I'm being told, but either way, I still think the problems are as much mental as anything else. Pau's head has seemed in a bad place throughout the entire postseason. For that matter, his regular season was very inconsistent by his standards.
Boo Birds (Staples Center)
The reason we came out is not because we hate the Lakers, it's to let them know that the way they're playing is unacceptable. That said, regardless of what happens, the dudes deserve a huge applause of what they've accomplished the last 3 years. Some teams don't even make it to the Finals once, let alone 3 years in a row.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:31 PM)
Boo Birds (Staples Center): I agree the way the Lakers played was unacceptable, but booing them won't help reverse matters. All y'all accomplished was getting inside your own team's collective heads. Time and place, you know? As I said in my postgame breakdown, I "get" the reaction, but I don't get it. Still, it's nice you acknowledged how fortunate and blessed Lakers fans have been since 2008. It's been a fun time to root purple and gold.
Dennis (Dallas, TX)
Who's idea was it to give Luke Walton a 6 year contract? This guy is riding the bench and eating up the Lakers salary cap.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:33 PM)
Dennis (Dallas): I won't argue that Walton's contract hasn't paid off as planned, but he's not "eating up" the cap. The Lakers would be capped out whether he was on the payroll or not, and his presence hasn't prevented Dr. Buss from spending at all. Most teams have a bad contract or two on their team. If Walton's, still relatively inexpensive, is a team's worst, you're doing pretty well.
Adam Morrison ((LA))
my curse lives, two with me and none without me
Andy Kamenetzky (2:34 PM)
Quite gloating, Ammo!
i am i the only one that believe in the lakers wininng the next two and win in six wat u think
Andy Kamenetzky (2:34 PM)
Niko (Cinci): You may very well be the only one, but I admire your spunk!
pau gasol ((LA))
now i know how kwame brown felt
Andy Kamenetzky (2:37 PM)
And on that depressing note, gotta run. Thanks for dropping by. Brian is leaving for Dallas today, so there will be coverage from Texas. Also, we're filming a new episode of "The Triangle" today, so be on the lookout late tonight or early tomorrow for that to post.