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Podcast: Metta World Peace out (sorry), Lakers unraveling, beards and the first-est world problems ever

Posted by on Mar 29, 2013 in Dwight Howard, Kamenetzky Brothers Land O'Lakers Podcast, Kobe Bryant, Lakers Analysis, Lakers Audio, Metta World Peace, Opinion, Podcast | 1 comment

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The Lakers have dropped four of five following Thursday”s 113-103 loss in Milwaukee. Their hold on the eighth seed in the Western Conference is thin, as is — in a major change of pace — . It”s a tough moment in a tough season for the purple and gold. But while adversity might keep the Lakers from the playoffs, it can”t keep us from recording the newest edition of the Land O”Lakers Podcast.

Among the big talking points…

  • We”ve now seen two games without Metta World Peace out thanks to a meniscus tear in his left knee, and what it means for the Lakers on both sides of the ball. Thus far, it”s fair to say the team has become even more porous defensively. Any shot they patch the holes? Has MWP played his final game with the Lakers? 
  • Was Metta”s injury the straw that breaks the camel”s back? That last bit of adversity the Lakers can”t overcome?
  • If you”re a fan, do you really want the Lakers to make the playoffs, given what appears to be the inevitable pasting they”ll endure in the first round? Would it be more humane for the year to quietly end in mid-April? Andy, the resident Lakers die-hard, weighs in.
  • Tuesday”s game against Dallas won”t just have huge implications for the playoffs, but for facial hair as well. We discuss.
  • Finally  Jon Hamm and Mark Zuckerberg officially have two of the first-est first world problems in human history.
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Pau Gasol returning: Four things to watch

Posted by on Mar 21, 2013 in Dwight Howard, Lakers Analysis, Opinion, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash | 7 comments

Pau Gasol said Wednesday afternoon at practice (Lakers practice, for those needing more specificity) in El Segundo he felt “confident” about suiting up for Friday night”s game against the Wizards at Staples, but “we don”t want to get too ahead of ourselves.”

So whether it”s Friday or Monday night in Oakland, it looks like Gasol will be back on the floor sooner rather than later, meaning the whole “What happens when Pau comes back?” question finally gets an answer.

Here are a few things to consider…

1. Earl Clark”s return to Earth has made diffused the issue of whether or not Pau starts. 

Over the last couple weeks, our in-game timeline has featured a lot of “Earl Clark sucks!” Not fair. Earl Clark doesn”t suck, it just turns out he is, in fact, Earl Clark. The good news is it turns out Earl Clark is a useful NBA player, the type of guy who can be a solid addition to a team”s rotation. If he”s your seventh or eighth best player, it could be a good thing. If he”s your starting power forward, it”s probably not.

Clark”s high-end production wasn”t going to be sustainable, even if he didn”t get dinged up with injuries or the league, which had for into four seasons ignored Clark completely, didn”t start paying attention while he was on the floor. Both happened, and his performance suffered. In March, Clark”s, his 3-point numbers below 29 percent. His defense hasn”t been particularly good, either.

Still, lay off Clark, or at the least maintain a little perspective. The idea the Lakers were going to stumble upon a cheap, double-double machine who would lead their resurgence was a little far-fetched. Be happy they found a high end athlete who works hard, is coachable, has some utility, and will likely be affordable in the offseason.

At any rate, removing Clark from the starting lineup is hardly a controversial proposition.

2. Just because Gasol can start doesn”t make him a shoe-in to finish. 

Based on plus/minus numbers, features Kobe Bryant with Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Jodie Meeks, and Metta World Peace. Not coincidentally, that group — or a similar lineup swapping Meeks for Antawn Jamison — has finished most games, lately. In 101 minutes, the four-starters-plus-Meeks fivesome is a plus-58. The Jamison edition is plus-34 in 94 minutes.

The Lakers look like a good bet to finish no worse than eighth in the West — the Jazz are quickly devolving into  a quivering bowl of Jell-O – but still can”t be screwing around. Moreover, as AK pointed out during a podcast last week, the Lakers have very little time to find whatever rhythm they can going into the playoffs. I”m sure they”ll try, and still think the team”s best shot at playing to full capacity is with its best players on the floor as much as possible. Still, if it doesn”t work with Gasol closing games the Lakers really don”t have the luxury of forcing the issue, particularly to keep the peace. While he won”t rock the boat, Gasol won”t like it (and I”ll sympathize because Gasol is a Player Whose Talent Says He Should Finish Games) and some fans will howl, but in fairness to Mike D”Antoni the Lakers can”t be experimenting this late in the game.

That which works now needs to be the priority.

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Podcast: Mike D'Antoni's rotation, Dwight Howard's evolution, tanking, twins, and more

Posted by on Mar 20, 2013 in Dwight Howard, Kamenetzky Brothers Land O'Lakers Podcast, Kobe Bryant, Lakers Analysis, Mike D'Antoni, Opinion, Podcast | 6 comments

The Lakers have three days between games following Monday”s fatigue-laden smackdown in the desert at the hands of Phoenix. Three days to think about what must change going forward, but even better, three days to enjoy the newest Kamenetzky Brothers Land O”Lakers Podcast!

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  • Again down Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, the Lakers rolled with seven players both Sunday at home against the Kings, then again in Phoenix. Mike D”Antoni said before game his plan was, knowing the team had time off coming, , and not dust off anyone from deeper down on the bench. Obviously it didn”t work, because the Lakers were completely gassed, and the signs were there early. What did we think of his strategy?
  • What are the larger implications of playing the last two games as D”Antoni chose to do? How legitimate are other criticisms of his work this season?
  • As the OC Register”s Kevin Ding noted Tuesday morning, Dwight Howard has fired his longtime business manager (and first cousin) Kevin Samples. (Samples will remain Howard”s first cousin.) Good move or bad?
  • Facebook Mailbag! Should the Lakers try to play their way to a specific first round opponent? Why doesn”t Hack-a-Howard happen more often? Can the Heat break the 33-game win streak set by the “71-”72 Lakers?

All that, plus Brian”s fear of adult twins!

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Podcast: Kobe Bryant's ankle, Pau Gasol's return, the whitest of all musicians

Posted by on Mar 16, 2013 in Dwight Howard, Kamenetzky Brothers Land O'Lakers Podcast, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash | 7 comments

As if Friday's massive, inspiring 99-93 road win over the Pacers — secured largely without the services of a hobbled Kobe Bryant and with Dwight Howard often in foul trouble –  wasn't enough to put everyone's weekend in a festive mood, guess what else you have to celebrate?

That's right! Ear candy!!!

On the heels of what Metta World Peace quite reasonably deemed “the biggest win of the season so far,” treat yourself to some festive Lakers chatter. Below is a list of talking points.

  • While it remains to be seen just how long it'll take for Kobe's ankle to truly heal up, that he was able to even give it a brief try against Indiana feels like a good sign for the stretch run of the regular season. With the threat of an extended absence low — while Kobe couldn't finish Friday's game, he was able to at least give it a go — we were able to focus on the lighter side of the injury, such as the ways Kobe will exact revenge on Dahntay Jones and the masterful way in which The Mamba milked the drama to further his legend even more.
  • Brian shares his dislike for Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier.
  • With Pau Gasol is slated to return soon, perhaps as early as Monday in Phoenix. We discuss the potential effect of his presence on the court and potential complications integrating him back into the mix.
  • L.A. Weekly recently ran a fun series of music-related lists, and we decided to dive into one of the quirkier categories: The top 20 whitest musicians of all-time. Folks like Moby, Celine Dion and Vampire Weekend predictably pop up. Plus, Brian tells the story of how he met Eric Clapton in a laundromat!

All that … and more! on the newest edition of the Kamenetzky Brothers Land O'Lakers Podcast.

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