Charles Barkley predicts a first round loss by LeBron James and the Lakers if they were to face off against the Utah Jazz and not the Suns.
With LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers currently in the play in tournament, it’s tough for them to wiggle around in the standings and dictate their Playoff opponent in the first round. If they were to win against Steph Curry and the Warriors, they would be locked into a series against Chris Paul and the Phoenix Suns.
The Suns, though they are led by Chris Paul at the helm, possess little to no postseason experience. Guys like Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Deandre Ayton, and others, haven’t been in high leverage situations like the Playoffs before. Chris Paul and Jae Crowder are the only serviceable players on that roster who’ve had deep postseason runs.
The Jazz on the other hand, have been through the ringer these past few years. Everything from beating Paul George’s Thunder in Donovan Mitchell’s rookie season to their first round battle against Jamal Murray and the Nuggets in the Bubble, this Utah Jazz team looks ready to take it to the next level when it comes to the Playoffs.
Charles Barkley says he’d rather have LeBron James and the Lakers face the Suns and not the Jazz.
It’s very possible that the Warriors could claim the 7th seed over the Lakers and go on to face off against the Phoenix Suns. This would mean the Lakers would have to go up against the probable DPOY and his squad in the 1st round. In the event that this takes place, Chuck believes the Jazz would absolutely wax the defending champs.
“If they have to play Utah, they are not going to win, they are going to lose. I hate to say this but it’s a much easier match up for them to play against the Phoenix Suns. That’s why they’re going to win that game. I’m sick of the Utah Jazz slander. But I’m telling you, the Lakers cannot beat the Jazz in the first round of the Playoffs.”
Charles Barkley goin’ to bat for Utah: “the Lakers cannot beat the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs.” 😳 pic.twitter.com/lzm0tLQWwq
— Jake Lee (@JakeRexLee) May 19, 2021
The Utah Jazz have been one of the deadliest teams to go up against when getting defended on the perimeter. In their 3 games against the Lakers, they held them to a mere 29% shooting from beyond the arc. Not to mention the fact that the Jazz boast a defensive anchor in Rudy Gobert.
It would make sense that the Lakers would go all out against the Warriors to secure that 7th seed to go up against an inexperienced Suns team while also getting a few extra days of rest.