Chat with the Kamenetzky Brothers
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, we'll have ESPNLosAngeles.com Los Angeles Lakers bloggers Andy and Brian Kamenetzky stopping by for their weekly chat.
Before joining ESPNLosAngeles.com, Brian and Andy 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 the Brothers Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. PT/1:30 p.m. ET!
Brian Kamenetzky (1:31 PM)
Hey folks! Thanks for stopping in. Lots of ground to cover today, so let's get going.
Fernando (Milpitas )
When will Ramon Sessions be a starter?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:32 PM)
Hey Fernando. That's certainly a question on everyone's mind this morning, after Sessions clearly outplayed Blake in Houston. Mike Brown says he'll stick with Blake for the time being, but I do think the change will come relatively soon, and more importantly, I think we'll start seeing Sessions finish more games. The starter thing doesn't really matter to me -- I think often it's overrated -- but the key is to get Kobe and Sessions on the floor together as much as possible, so they get to know each other more.
why didn't even one play go through Sessions in the final 6 minutes last night? is Kobe that dumb/selfish?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:34 PM)
I think there's a lot of re-programming that has to happen. Keep in mind, it's been basically forever since Kobe had a PG like Sessions on the roster. Everyone has to adjust. Kobe needs to allow the ball to be put in other people's hands, his teammates need to look to other players, coaches need to call different sets, and Sessions needs to learn not to automatically defer to Kobe.
Brian (Bay Area)
Does a 1st round exit put Mike Brown's job on shaky ground? 2nd round exit?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:34 PM)
No. Not this year. Brown gets at least one more year (at least) no matter what happens in the playoffs this season.
Jonathan (Los Angeles)
hey K bros appreciate what you guys bring to the table when you guys talk about the lakers. ive been wondering this question b/c its been bothering me for a while. how deep is this years draft? im always hearing the word "deep" by the analysts when it comes to this years draft but i dont understand how deep they mean. is it picks 1-15 or deeper?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:36 PM)
Jonathan-I'm not a CBB expert by any stretch, so take that into consideration. But generally speaking, the belief is that there is both high end talent available at the top of the draft, and a lot of good players that will trickle down deeper. I don't believe it's considered a strong international draft, but domestically, it's good.Of course, the Lakers don't have any picks in the first round, so it may not matter. But insofar as it means getting good players later, it could.
Mariopvn NORWALK, CA [via mobile]
Do u think that we should of hired brian shaw? i just think mike brown dont get the lakers thats just my opinion
Brian Kamenetzky (1:37 PM)
Hey. I would have hired Rick Adelman. I thought he was the best mixture of new voice and system that players would recognize. Plus, he has plenty of gravitas thanks to his experience around the league.
Andres Garcia (Los Angeles )
The bobcats just waived Boris Diaw could the lakers make move to sign him could spread the court and fill that extra roster spot?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:39 PM)
I don't think the Lakers will bite. Diaw is overweight, and wouldn't necessarily add much clarity to the team's frontcourt rotation. That said, if they were going to kick the tires on a player currently on waivers, he'd be the sort who makes some sense. Diaw is a talented player, and a good facilitator. Or can be, at least. Put around good players, he could be useful.
Big fan of u guys! Please answer this. Is the media not allowed to ask Kobe about his shot selection? I never see anyone ask him directly. Afraid of rubbing him the wrong way?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:40 PM)
He gets asked. He just blows off the questions. But he probably doesn't get asked as strongly as he should with regularity. It's a good point.
Fisher reportedly finalized his deal with the Thunder ... bad omens!
Brian Kamenetzky (1:41 PM)
See my post yesterday! :)I think it'll be interesting to see how he's used on a team like OKC, and whether the threat of Fisher coming back to haunt the Lakers will be as strong as a lot of fans fear. How much will he play? Will Scott Brooks alter his fourth quarter rotation to get him on the floor? We'll get a couple good looks before the playoffs, b/c the Thunder visit Staples twice between now and the end of the season.
For the record, Kupchak turned Odom and Fish into Jordan Hill
Brian Kamenetzky (1:43 PM)
Not really. The pick they acquired was instrumental in being able to pull off the Sessions deal (not sure they make it if they can't unload salary somewhere else), and they still have the trade exception acquired in the Odom deal. So basically they still haven't done anything with that. We'll know if they do anything useful off the Odom deal by seeing what happens to that TPE.
How bad do you think management regrets hiring Mike Brown over Addelman?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:43 PM)
If they do, they'll never say it.
Dustin (Lakersfield, CA.)
I'm surprised the team used Fisher to aquire Jordan Hill and has no plans to use him (Hill). I figured he would at least get in to commit some fouls and rebound... What was the point of us trading for a more athletic guy if he's going to sit the bench? Was that strictly a "Future move"?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:45 PM)
Hi Dustin-The trade was based mostly in finances. Fisher was going to be a third PG, both this year and next, and would make a fair amount of money to do it. Paying him to be that guy is a serious expense for a team deep into the luxury tax, with even more punitive penalities on the horizon. By unloading the pick, they also get themselves a little more cap relief (they would have had to pay the draft pick for three years+). So there's more savings there. Hill might end up playing a little, and they like that they added another big to help add some balance to what otherwise would have been a guard heavy roster thin up front, but overall the primary motivation was financial.
If I get anything from this chat, I want it to be the transcript from Bynum's chat with the ref!
Brian Kamenetzky (1:46 PM)
Do we have a 1st round draft pick this year or not? I know we traded one to both Houston and CLE but I thought I read that the trade with CLE was we would get MIA's 1st round pick instead of ours, is that true?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:47 PM)
No. No picks for LAL. What I believe they have is next year the right to swap picks with the Heat next season (the pick that Cleveland owns). So if the Lakers can get better draft position, they can make that swap. I'll look it up again, though.
How do you think Kobe, and the Lakers organization feel about Fish joining OKC?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:49 PM)
I suspect Kobe is happy D-Fish is joining a winner where he'll be happier. The organization probably assumed something like this might happen. I don't think they ultimately view another team picking up Fish as the determining factor in their success this season. They can't work that way-- if they think a trade needs to be made, they have to make it even if it means a guy like Fish could be on a team they play against. Even by trading him to Houston, they were potentially putting him on the roster of a playoff opponent. So I don't think they really care about that.
Carlos (Ontario, ca)
Do you think the lakers are going to make it to the finals, or at least the semi finals?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:50 PM)
I think they have the requisite talent to make the Western Conference Finals. I'd still put OKC as a clear favorite over them, and might pick SAS over them as well (esp. if the Spurs get home court). But they have a chance now, thanks to upgrading at PG.
Brian (Va. Beach)
First off, always been a Laker fan and a Kobe supporter. Now with that said how much longer do i have to watch the offense cater to him possession after possession. Last night Kobe let Houston off the hook by shutting down Sessions on his own, is this ever going to stop?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:51 PM)
That's the million dollar question. Kobe had become more willing to share with Bynum since the All Star break, but overall the offense is very one dimensional down the stretch (as are most NBA offenses, it should be noted). The Lakers now have four weapons they can use, in Bryant, Bynum, Gasol, and Sessions, and would be doing themselves a disservice if they only make the offense Kobe centric in the most limited ways (isos, pick and rolls). There are other ways to get him looks.
Brian (Bay Area)
Hey K-Bro's thanks for your chats! My question is assuming they don't even make it to the WCF, how likely is it that they move Pau over the summer?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:53 PM)
Hey Brian. I think Gasol is likely to be traded no matter how far they go. With Bynum ascending and Kobe still there, I think they probably will feel like it's too much money to pay Gasol to be perhaps a third option.
Jeff (West Hills, CA)
Did the Lakers ever consider trading for Barbosa? Indiana got him for a 2nd round draft pick. Even though he makes $7M this year, this is the last year of the deal. With the lack of scoring on our bench, this would have been a great move and we could have used the TPE.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:54 PM)
I think the energy around the TPE was centered on Beasley. I suspec they considered Barbosa, but honestly don't know how much they actually might have wanted him. They needed more frontcourt help, not another guard. Esp. with Sessions on the radar.
Jeff (West Hills, CA)
Ramon and Kobe looked out of synch at the end of the game yesterday. Doesn't it make sense to get Sessions in the starting lineup now so they have more time to get in synch?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:54 PM)
That's probably the most compelling argument for making the switch now.
briano (temple city in LA)
Another bad loss, and some might pin it on Bynum. Do you think his character issues will ever be a concern? Or is it better to get it out the way now than when it's towards the end of the season when we're battling for playoff seeding?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:56 PM)
Hey Briano-I think it's very reasonable to ask about Bynum's maturity. What he did last night is simply inexcusable. Even though he wasn't visibly showing up the ref, he was clearly riding officials all night, and had to know that if he kept it up, he'd get T'd up again. It was very irresponsible, and not the sort of thing a team leader is supposed to be doing. Can't happen. He definitely hurt his team.
When is mike brown going to put sessions in front of Blake? I don't think the Kupcheck got rid of fish to make way for the emergence of Steve Blake as a starting PG? Also why did we trade Fisher when Fish could give us the same production of Blake 0 pts, 0 pts, 2 pts, 0 pts, 7 pts.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:59 PM)
I'd be surprised if Blake continued to start for too much longer. I do think Brown likes what Sessions does for a second unit that needs scoring punch, and there's some logic to that. I believe the minutes will start swinging heavily in Sessions' favor going forward. I think the most compelling reason to start him, though, isn't about the title, because he can get starter's minutes off the bench. But it might be good to get him on the floor with Kobe as much as possible, because that's teh adjustment on the roster that is the most important. Those guys need to get familiar with each other.
Kobe having a detrimental game is A problem not THE problem for the Lakers. Whatever happened to the Defence that Mike Brown brought to the team??????
Brian Kamenetzky (2:00 PM)
Great point about the defense, Ram. No question, they have slipped. Last night, Gasol struggled inside, Kobe was bad on the perimeter, and Bynum got himself thrown out. But they weren't any better against Utah Sunday night, really, when Bynum didn't get himself tossed. They absolutely have to find better results on that end. They can score more now, but aren't explosive enough to go bucket for bucket with most teams.
What would you say the right number of shots for Kobe would be?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:03 PM)
I think it's more a question of balance and touches, not necessarily shot counts, but overall I think when he's closer to 20 things tend to operate more smoothly, and the quality of Kobe's opportunities improve.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:03 PM)
Hey folks. I'm going to hand things off to Andy, who is going to do the last half hour. Thanks!
Jeff (West Hills, CA)
Mike Brown pretty much said in the media that Jordan Hill won't get many minutes and is behind McRoberts and Murphy. Does that make sense when we could use his defense and rebounding? Murphy doesn't provide much besides streak 3 pt shooting.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:06 PM)
Jeff: Hill is a pretty good shot blocker, but as an overall defender, he's not great. He makes a lot of mistakes and suffers mental lapses. Our man Rahat Huq talked about it in yesterday's preview. http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/lakers/post/_/id/28478/lakers-at-rockets-what-to-watch-with-red94 And in the meantime, he's a very limited offensive player, and the bench struggles enough to score as it is.
Do you think the lakers:1) Need to fire Mike Brown?2) Need Kobe to pass more3) Their late lackluster are due to the fatigue from compressed schedule?4) Sessions needs way more touches on the ball, with pick and rolls and penetration than Kobe?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:09 PM)
Rajon Krondo: My responses...1) No. 2) Yes, particularly down the stretch of games (although the other guys need to stop dumping the ball to him out of rote habit.) 3) Better not be. 4) Definitely.
Andrew M (Orange County)
How angry/bitter do you think Kobe would be if Derek Fisher gets a sixth championship ring without him in Oklahoma City? In your opinion, has his departure had anything to do with the Lakers looking out of sorts the past two games, especially last night (which could be argued was their worst loss of the season)?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:11 PM)
Andrew M: Actually, I think Kobe would be happy for Fisher. His legacy isn't in direct competition with Fish's in the slightest, so it doesn't take a hit if the ring total gets passed. Plus, it's not like Kobe traded Fisher away. He'd have preferred his close friend stay. So if he's not gonna get another ring, I imagine he'd just as soon see Fisher with another one. Plus, it keeps LBJ and Wade from getting any closer. hahaAnd no, I don't think Fisher's absence had anything to do with the last two losses. They happened in very similar ways to when he was still a Laker.
Mini Mamba (LA)
Why does Mike Brown hate me again? I thought I was playing pretty well when given the chance. Now that we have a real PG in Sessions, cant I get some of Blake's mins? I promise you K- Bros the mini mamba can score more than 2 pts combined in the 3 games, just give me 3 mins not 3 games!
Andy Kamenetzky (2:16 PM)
Mini Mamba: I honestly have no idea why you didn't play against Houston. In part because I'm not on the road to ask Brown, but also because I've given up trying to figure out his rotations. Granted, you haven't been shooting the ball well lately, and maybe Brown has decided the slump becomes problematic combined with your defensive issues. The D as a whole lately hasn't been great. And with Sessions in the second unit, you have a player who can create for himself, which perhaps lessens the need for you. But still, I'd like another guy who can do that with the reserves, and when the Blake/Sessions switch eventually happens, one assumes you'd be needed again. So I'm just kinda chalking this up to tinkering by your coach, which I've grown kinda numb to by now.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:19 PM)
Chris: I don't know if the All-Star bid has created a monster, so to speak. But I definitely agree with everything you're saying in terms of the classless, immature exit. Drew looked like he was running for Mayor or something. Way too proud of himself, and it's inexcusable to get tossed during a very tight, very important game. If Drew wants to become more of a leader on this team -- and I'm very confident he does -- he needs to act more accordingly. He really left his teammates out to dry.
Hi Andy, is it possible that the Lakers are going through the motions right now? Its all but certain that they will make the playoffs so there is not much urgency and motivation to go all out every night.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:20 PM)
Darryl: If that's the case, they learned absolutely nothing from last season's complacency-fest. Which would just be pathetic, and a sign this team simply needs to be blown up. Hopefully, we're nowhere close to this point.
Is taking a flyer on Greg Oden as a backup center for next season worth doing?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:23 PM)
Lucas: No. I feel for Oden and he's a very nice guy who doesn't deserve this fate. But the fact remains, he's not likely to ever stay healthy and the Lakers need a big who can reliably play minutes. Otherwise, Drew and Pau become susceptible to injury or burnout.
I understand the need for playing Sessions with Kobe to get them enough PT together, but I also feel Sessions should ALWAYS be on the floor whenever Kobe is not. I'm not sure if that's entirely possible if he takes the starting gig, as that would take some creative rotation work -- and Mike Brown hasn't been exactly top shelf in that department...
Andy Kamenetzky (2:27 PM)
Nate: I see what you're saying, but ultimately, it's more important for Kobe and Sessions to get acclimated over everything else. The second unit was actually picking up a bit with Blake before Ramon arrived, and he's been creating similarly good looks for Barnes, Bynum, etc. Sessions can't play 48 minutes, so his spots need to be picked. They have to be prioritized first with Kobe and the starters.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:32 PM)
Alrighty, kids. Gotta run. We'll see everyone after tonight's game on Lakers Late Night. See ya, and thanks for stopping by!