If it wasn’t clear what the Hall of Famers on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” thought of the Warriors, their immediate reactions after the Warriors lost Game 4 to the Lakers to fall behind 3-1 in this series made it clear.
Charles Barkley declared that the Warriors are “cooked” for this series, while Shaquille O’Neal says the defending champions still have a great chance to win the series.
Barkley has been antagonistic towards the Warriors for years, oftentimes to a comical extent. Already in this postseason, he guaranteed a Kings victory in Game 5 before Golden State went on to win in Sacramento in that same game.
Now, Barkley is ready to declare the Warriors as dead, saying, “Cooked. They’re cooked. This series is over. Whether in five or six [games], it’s over.”
Chuck on the Warriors: “They’re cooked. This series is over.” pic.twitter.com/ISRUnbXpxW
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 9, 2023
But at the start of the segment, O’Neal was asked by Ernie Johnson what the chances are of the Warriors coming back from a 3-1 deficit in this series. O’Neal seemed to catch Johnson and his fellow analysts off-guard by replying, “Still great.”
“You’re going up against the champs. You’ve got to put the champs away,” O’Neal said. “The champs ain’t going to lay down. This ain’t Memphis, the champs ain’t going to lay down.
“Steph Curry, the greatest shooter in this game, missed those last two shots. You don’t think he’s going to be pissed off? And he’s a dog, and when dogs get pissed off, they come ready to play the next day.”
O’Neal’s support of Curry isn’t a shock. He’s previously been a vocal supporter of the shooter, providing a stark contrast across the desk to Barkley. O’Neal even sounded a bit like some Warriors fans on Monday night, seeing the opportunity out of being down 3-1 to the Lakers and LeBron James.
“They’re probably saying, ‘Remember when we had them 3-1 and they came back?’ Now, they have a chance to get LeBron back,” O’Neal said, referencing the 2016 NBA Finals. “They still have a chance. They have to go home, they have to play well and they will play well.
“The Lakers, even though they’re up 3-1, they’ve been up-and-down. We talk about how great AD has to be, he only had four points in the second half. If it wasn’t for Lonnie Walker IV, it’d probably be tied.”
Johnson even tried to clarify, saying, “Perhaps I should have rephrased that to be chances to win the series.” But O’Neal stuck to his guns.
“You have to put the champs away, they’re not going to lay down,” O’Neal said. “Even though they’re down 3-1, they’re not worried.”
TNT’s other commentator, Kenny Smith, agreed and wondered about some adjustments to come. He expects the Warriors to try to keep pushing the tempo of this series.
“I’m not going to be surprised when we see a Game 6,” Smith said.
While Barkley’s words are always tinged with some dislike of the Warriors’ style of play, his assessment of Monday night didn’t seem off.
“I think the Laker did a fabulous job of making Klay and Steph work by attacking them,” Barkley said. “They know that’s the two guys they got to worry about. They attack them every single time in the half court, because the Warriors are switching everything. I personally thought Klay and Steph got tired.”
Barkley may be right, and fatigue could be a factor going forward. But for someone who always seems to laugh at the Warriors, Golden State still has a chance to get the last laugh.
Soruce : https://www.mercurynews.com/2023/05/08/charles-barkley-says-warriors-are-cooked-vs-lakers-but-shaq-disagrees/