Charles Barkley states that the LA Lakers have absolutely no chances of defending their title due to all the injuries they’ve sustained this season.
No other team in the league has had a more surprising and shocking season than the defending champions Los Angeles Lakers. Entering the 2020-2021 campaign, the team looked to be one of the strongest title contenders. With the All-Star duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, LAL looked determined to clinch their second consecutive title.
The 2020 champions went from being favourites to win the title, to barely making the playoffs. The Lakers had a great start to the new season. However, not very deep into the tournament did injuries riddle the team.
Superstars like Anthony Davis and LeBron James missed 36 and 27 games, respectively. And role players like Dennis Schroder were sidelined for a while due to health and safety protocols.
It only led the Lakers to stumble down in the standings. With a subpar 42-30 record, LAL just made it into the playoffs, clinching the 7th seed by defeating Golden State in the inaugural and controversial play-in tournament. Their path to defending their title has just started, with their first-round test being against Chris Paul and his Phoenix Suns team.
“The LA Lakers have zero chances of winning the championship this year”: Charles Barkley
Many believed that LBJ and AD could be able to come back from their injury and lead their team to the title. However, Charles Barkley, for one, states that the Lakers have absolutely no chances of winning their 18th title this season. As the Suns managed to level the series 2-2 after their win, Barkley further went on to say:
“You’ve got to go all this time without playing basketball and just going to show up and play basketball? This is what happens, you get hurt. You don’t just jump into the middle of the playoffs.
AD’s been out for a long time, now you’re trying to play hard basketball. He had a couple good games, but he ain’t had no time to get his rhythm and his conditioning together. Same thing with LeBron. I don’t think LeBron, at his age, can single-handedly whip the Phoenix Suns.
If Anthony Davis does not play again, they’re gonna lose to the Phoenix Suns. But, even if they beat the Suns, they got zero chance of winning the championship. These guys are not in good enough shape. They missed too much of the regular season. And like I say, you don’t just pick up a basketball in the middle of the [playoffs] and beat the good teams.”
There still has been no updates on Anthony Davis and his status after leaving Game 4 with a strained left groin. However, the way the first four games have panned out, it surely will be a long and tough series that we are in for.