Charles Barkley has never been afraid to reveal his hot takes to the NBA world.
Prior to Thursday’s game between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors, the TNT panel was discussing how much better LeBron James makes the Los Angeles Lakers since the team didn’t even qualify for the playoffs last season. Once again, Barkley didn’t back down from his stance and said, in his eyes, the Lakers are a No. 6 seed in the Western Conference in the best-case scenario.
“The Lakers aren’t a good team,” Barkley said. “The Lakers are a 6th, 7th, 8th seed at best. They’re going to smell the playoffs, but it’s going to be a short smell.”
That phrase may not be one that has been heard before, but Barkley certainly was adamant that he doesn’t believe that Lakers are a “good team.” One of Barkley’s co-hosts, Kenny Smith, added that the Lakers didn’t even make the playoffs in 2017-18 and are obviously a much better team than they were a season ago.
The Lakers started off the season very inconsistent, and while they’ve turned things around, two losses to the Orlando Magic this month only fuels Barkley’s stance. Los Angeles is coming off a deflating 117-85 loss at the hands of the Denver Nuggets, but did rebound with a 104-96 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Thursday.
LeBron and Co. certainly could have their best basketball ahead of them when the team is at full strength. Point guard Rajon Rondo is currently working his way back from a broken hand that he injured earlier this month. In addition, Lonzo Ball is dealing with an ankle sprain that he suffered on Tuesday, but he did play 34 minutes against the Pacers. The Lakers are back in action when they host the Mavericks on Friday night (10:30 p.m. ET — watch on fuboTV with the NBA League Pass extension).
Barkley is certainly not a believer in the Lakers roster as it’s currently constructed. However, the Lakers definitely could have a very different look if/when veterans start to get bought out and the trade deadline creeps closer.
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